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cONNECTED

FUTURE FOCUSED Rocket Science is the easy part ROAD TO THE DRAFT

WORLD BUSINESS the Canadian competitive advantage in manufacturing

OUT OF THE FIRE


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AT H A B A S C A U N I V E R S I T Y

For more information on our MBA: 1-800-561-4650 business.athabascau.ca

“Staying competitive in today's business climate takes dedication, hard work, and ongoing learning. AU's online Executive MBA provides real-world education in all key management areas and can be earned without sacrificing work or home life.� -Jason Byrne, MBA '15 Regional Director, Credit Structures, RBC Private Banking


CONTENTS

CONNECTED EDITOR

4

MESSAGE FROM THE DEAN A word from Dr. Deborah Hurst

22

OUT OF THE FIRE How faculty and students braved the unthinkable

Angie Zander

ART DIRECTION Michelle White at Made By Sloan

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS 6

MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT

Athabasca University: Embracing

27

THE TIES THAT BIND Education is a family affair

the future to support our learners

CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS

8

FACULTY OF BUSINESS UPDATES

New Executive MBA Program

experience the excitement of the

Director, AACSB update

NHL entry draft first-hand

10

ROCKET SCIENCE IS THE EASY PART

14

31

34

Stefanie Ruel is making a difference - one space mission at

Heather Bissonette, Jeremy Derksen, Derek Drager, Dr. Neil Fassina, Elizabeth Howell, Dr. Deborah Hurst, Chris McLeod, Heidi Staseson, Angie Zander

ROAD TO THE DRAFT Business of Hockey MBA students

WORLD BUSINESS:

Athabasca University, Canadian Space Agency, Chicago Blackhawks, Jessica Clarke, Getty Images, Ian Grant, Warren Harder, Chad Lanus, Kelsey McMillan, Rodolfo Moraga, Bill Oliver, Jill Shantz, Jay Shurman, Suzie Smibert, Heidi Staseson, TMMC Media, Sam Valadi, Michelle White, James Wingate

The Canadian competitive advantage

DESIGN

in manufacturing

Michelle White

a time

EDITORIAL BOARD

HANDS-ON LEARNING

Deborah Hurst, Chris McLeod, Farid Noordin, Deb Scaber, Shannon LaRose, Marta Gomez, Alison Wilkie

Why every student should

38

participate in case competitions

THE SMARTEN UP 5 How do you work smarter tomorrow than you did today?

COMMENTS & INQUIRES business@fb.athabascau.ca

16

20

INTO THE UNKNOWN Market uncertainty may become the

42

LAW AND ORDER: AU How one SVU detective fought crime

norm. How can business adapt and

and managed time between the police

thrive?

force and his MBA

FIRST-EVER HONORARY CERTIFIED HOCKEY PROFESSIONAL DESIGNATION

ON THE COVER:

To be awarded to Chicago Blackhawks

Photo by Rodolfo Moraga

Stefanie Ruel, MBA ‘11, DBA candidate Mission Manager, Canadian Space Agency

UNDELIVERED COPIES MAY BE RETURNED TO: Athabasca University Faculty of Business #201, 13220 St. Albert Trail Edmonton, AB T5L 4W1

Connected is Athabasca University’s Faculty of Business magazine for students, staff, and alumni. All materials copyright 2016.

CEO and President John F. McDonough FSC Logo


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AT H A B A S C A U N I V E R S I T Y

MESSAGE FROM THE DEAN

Deborah Hurst/Ian Grant

Welcome to the Fall 2016 edition of connected magazine. Inside you’ll see articles celebrating our students and alumni from across all program areas. You’ll also find updates on new strategic alliances with the Supply Chain Management Association (SCMA), announcement of our new Executive MBA program director, and recognition, in partnership with the Business of Hockey Institute, of the first-ever Certified Hockey Professional designation. We are actively seeking out new partnerships and connections across industries and sectors, with a focus on bringing more recognition to you and your education. In fact, this desire for increasing our partnerships is a core part of our Faculty’s strategy. We began rolling out our new strategy at the beginning of 2016 focusing on three strategic priorities:

Deliver an outstanding student experience – We will continue to develop effective and powerful learning opportunities and supports, and memorable student experiences.

Expand and leverage relationships – We will continue to build connections with the business community, strengthen our links to professional networks and industry associations, and leverage a strong alumni community. One of the key activities we’ve undertaken is the creation of the Faculty of Business, Business Leadership Advisory Council.

Build, strengthen, and enhance our reputation – A substantial component of this priority is gaining international accreditation through the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). This is considered the gold standard for international accreditation. Athabasca University (AU) has been formally admitted into the accreditation process and work is well underway to achieve this.

Each of these strategic priorities are critical to our continued success and each include ways for you to be involved. We will be focusing more on raising awareness of AU by hosting events on important topics across Canada as part of our Future of Learning series. One example coming soon is our symposium on October 27 in Edmonton, entitled “Diversifying Alberta’s economy – Driving investment through capital markets” featuring high-profile guest panelists. If there is a topic or location you think we should be part of, please let us know. You can also stay on top of events in your community by reading our monthly e-newsletter, Stay Connected. Perhaps the most important role in enhancing AU’s strategy is yours, our student’s and alumni. Let us know where we can improve, help connect us to industry and professional networks, and volunteer at an information session. Share your successes with us so we, in turn, can celebrate and draw attention to you. Also, please continue to advocate and champion AU, your classmates, and your experiences within your workplace and networks. We hope you enjoy this issue of connected, and find the stories of your fellow students and alumni as inspiring as we do. Deborah Dean, Faculty of Business


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UPCOMING INFORMATION SESSIONS & EVENTS JOIN US IN PERSON OR ONLINE AT ONE OF OUR UPCOMING INFORMATION SESSIONS. October 4

ONLINE

October 19

ONLINE

October 19

ONLINE

Undergraduate Information Session

Executive MBA Information Session

Executive MBA Information Session

Online Webinar 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Online Webinar 10:00 am – 11:00 am

Online Webinar 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm

October 20

October 27

November 1

ONLINE

EDMONTON, AB

ONLINE

BComm/CPA Information Session

Future of Learning Series:

Undergraduate Information Session

Online Webinar 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Art Gallery Of Alberta 12:30 pm – 4:45 pm

Online Webinar 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm

November 16

November 16

December 5

ONLINE

Diversifying Alberta’s economy – Driving investment through capital markets

ONLINE

ONLINE

Executive MBA Information Session

Executive MBA Information Session

Undergraduate Information Session

Online Webinar 10:00 am – 11:00 am

Online Webinar 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Online Webinar 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm

December 13

ONLINE

BComm/CPA Information Session Online Webinar 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm *All events in Mountain Standard Time

Stay tuned to our events page for

Seasonal Cheer events taking place in a city near you throughout December! business.athabascau.ca/calendar


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ATHABASCA UNIVERSITY: EMBRACING THE FUTURE TO SUPPORT OUR LEARNERS b y Pr esi d ent D r. Neil Fassina wherever we are on the world’s stage, that embraces current and emergent technologies that are available to us. And yet there is no doubt that these tools will continue to change at an unprecedented rate. The digitally influenced world in which we live is moving faster than ever. If we are to maintain, let alone surpass, our reputation as a post-secondary leader in digital learning, we must move and even anticipate how to best integrate learning within emergent technologies and vice versa.

Dr. Neil Fassina/Courtesy of Athabasca University

I have recently been humbled by the opportunity to serve as the eighth President of this amazing institution, beginning on October 8, 2016. In the words of Isaac Newton, I am honoured to stand on the shoulders of giants who, before me, shaped the rich history and innovative learning environment that is Athabasca University (AU). Embarking on this journey, I stand at the ready, poised to build on our past and embrace our future as we look to seize what is ultimately an immense opportunity for AU. While I may be somewhat new to AU, I am no stranger to post-secondary education, both as a leader and as a learner. What I have come to know in my own personal leadership journey and through the enriching process that has led me to where I am today, is that AU is hands-down a gem within our provincial and federal adult learning landscapes. As Canada’s only open, online, and distance learning university, AU has the fundamental ingredients to rise once again as the global leader and a university that every Albertan and Canadian alike can be proud of.

With 45 years in this arena, Athabasca University is well-positioned to lead in the open, distance, online, and digitally mediated learning environment of the 21st century — not only in Canada — but around the globe. Regardless of what community our learners call home, our university provides a geographically independent and diverse learning opportunity. We have a unique prospect at our digital fingertips; we’re strategically poised to reach any adult learner of any age and any demographic — anytime, anyplace, and anywhere. Particularly, we are able to help those that otherwise might not consider, or may have a tougher time engaging in, a traditional university experience, bricksand-mortar, or otherwise. While I may only just be starting my journey here, I’ve gained more than a few insights in my recent deep-dive of all things AU: namely, that aside from being a post-secondary leader, we equally boast a profound sense of the nuances that comprise connected learning, as well as a dynamic sense of community and communication,

Similar pressures are being felt in the domain of e-commerce which is ubiquitous and interconnected everywhere. In a conversation with Dr. Alex Kondra, Faculty of Business MBA Program Director and Associate Professor at AU, we consider e-commerce as it pertains to AU’s own learning platform and the increasingly seamless user experience that exists within the digital e-commerce space. Dr. Kondra notes that “anything electronic will become increasingly sewn together into one piece and we won’t even notice it — it will just slowly continue to chip away and creep up on us until everything becomes increasingly integrated.” Just consider Big Data’s unprecedented blast through the e-verse in a short time span, having reached a zenith whereby trying to sift through immense volumes of observations to extract meaningful information is hugely challenging. “It’s a massive econometrics problem,” ponders Dr. Kondra. “Just look at the head-scratching examples of companies like Amazon and the frightening precision with which they can determine the frequency of their online shoppers. For example, how often does Amazon know what to sell you? And how does it decide how often it will try? How does


F A C U LT Y O F B U S I N E S S

Big Data know not to sell me baby clothes or back-to-school supplies?” The lightning-warped speed of technology also poses certain challenges to the post-secondary experience, resulting in an exponential increase in learner expectations, with students wanting information faster and more personalized than ever before. As President, I expect this informational influx is likely permeating more in each of our lives — this is a daunting prospect for many here at AU, while it is also a great opportunity. The challenge will be to stay ahead of the technological curve. I feel Athabasca University’s historic placement in the online and distance environment can only put us at an advantage toward meeting and exceeding the ever evolving needs and expectations of learners. Practically everything AU does is catered to an online and digital environment, and insofar as our organizational culture supports those digital systems, we will continue to provide our learners with that exemplary on-demand, self-service they’re tirelessly seeking. That is one of AU’s advantages. While one might consider AU to be approaching middle age, it is by all accounts youthful and energetic in its approach to being the global leader in the digital learning space. We have already laid down the requisite stepping stones. We stay current where both technology and pedagogy interact, and as such, we will maintain our educational distinction and service standards of excellence, providing a strong and competitive academic environment for learners worldwide. Whether you are continuing with, or are newly embarking on AU business education goals, I look forward to the opportunities ahead, continuing to uphold Athabasca University’s rich history, and ensuring its even brighter future.

BY THE NUMBERS 2015 – 2016 Stats

DOCTORATE OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION

DBA AWARDED IN 45%

In the meantime, I’ll do my very best to support this university’s open mandate, keeping a watchful eye and a transparent communication style, attempting to answer the unique demands of our learners, and demonstrating leadership in the province of Alberta and in Canada.

2014

55%

AVERAGE AGE: 50

14

MASTER

DBA GRADS FROM 2014 – 2016

1st

OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION

MBA AWARDED IN

1998

63% 37%

AVERAGE AGE: 41

3412

UNDERGRADUATE

MBA GRADS

FROM 1998 – 2016

1st

UG DEGREE AWARDED IN

Together, I know we are going to do great things. Wherever your learning adventure takes you — whether you’re studying from beneath the bright lights of Toronto, O.N., the ski slopes of Fernie, B.C., or the badlands of Alberta, or elsewhere — I encourage you to integrate and apply your well-honed AU knowledge, skills, and insight into your local communities, so that you can affect positive and vibrant change.

1st

40%

1981

60%

AVERAGE AGE: 33

3548

TOTAL FACULTY OF BUSINESS GRADS:

During this new era and the challenges it presents, I am confident that Athabasca University will continue to create even more innovative and technologically advanced opportunities for its learners, while simultaneously sustaining its valued place: at the forefront of open, online, and distance learning across Canada, and well beyond.

Source: Office of Institutional Studies, tableau report 2016 Data: April 1, 2015 - March 31, 2016

UNDERGRADUATES

FROM 1981 – 2016

6974


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HAVE YOU HEARD THE NEWS? b y An g i e Z a n d e r

Dr. Alex Kondra announced as new Executive MBA Program Director On July 1, 2016, Dr. Alex Kondra took over as the new Athabasca University (AU) Faculty of Business Executive MBA Program Director from Dr. Anshuman Khare. Alex has been with AU since 2001 and has a wealth of administrative experience to draw upon. He previously served at Athabasca University as the acting Vice President Academic, Dean of the Faculty of Business, Executive Director of the Centre for Innovative Management, acting Associate Vice President Academic, acting Director of the School of Business, and program director for AU’s undergraduate business programs. Alex completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Alberta where he received his BComm (distinction). He went on to later receive his PhD in Business Administration from the University of Alberta. Alex is an Associate Professor, teaching in areas of organizational theory and human resources, and currently oversees MBA in-residence electives in; International Business: Understanding & Managing Legal Risks, The Human Side of Mergers & Acquisitions, and Doing Business in a Recovering Economy: experiencing Greece. He also teaches in the undergraduate business program at AU. Alex K ondra /Jill Shantz

“I’m really pleased that Alex has agreed to become our MBA program director. I’m confident that his collegial approach and genuine desire to seek out new approaches and ideas will make a positive and sustained impact. Thank you, Alex, for accepting this new challenge. We are looking forward to the continued growth and renewal of our MBA program with you at the lead,” said Dr. Deborah Hurst, Dean, Faculty of Business. As MBA Program Director, Alex hopes to aid with endeavours for AACSB accreditation, streamline processes for students, and ensure the currency and relevancy of our MBA offerings. Congratulations on your new role Alex!

Developing new leaders in the manufacturing sector Earlier this year, Athabasca University’s (AU) Faculty of Business, in partnership with the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME), announced that the Manufacturing Management Certificate (MMC) of completion would be available nationally. Boosted by the success of the provincial pilot program that launched in the spring of 2015, the MMC is expected to soar to new heights with its national debut.

Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters have partnered with Athabasca University to help bridge this gap and support the growth of manufacturing in Canada by providing leadership and management training that enables workers to develop and improve their skills in a flexible online environment,” says Mathew Wilson, Senior Vice President, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters.

The MMC is the first-of-its-kind and is designed to provide the necessary applied training to develop and nurture new managers and supervisors from within existing manufacturing operations.

Recognizing that there was a significant management skills gap currently in the manufacturing field – industry-specific education and training was created to cultivate and nurture new managers and supervisors from within existing manufacturing operations.

“In today’s increasingly competitive global marketplace, the top challenges for the manufacturing industry are two-fold – developing advanced competencies in current manufacturing workers while also facing major skilled workforce shortages. If we are going to develop current manufacturing workers to do advanced troubleshooting with multi-skill abilities, it will require an investment in comprehensive training programs.

“The students that come to us learn about leadership and management, and they learn how to apply those concepts into their environment immediately, which gives them a return on investment. But it also gives employers a sense that we are providing business solutions. This new initiative will give people currently working in manufacturing the opportunity to develop soft skills in leadership as well as management acumen.” says Dr. Deborah Hurst, Dean of the Faculty of Business.


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Dean’s Award for Coaching Excellence Each year prior to convocation, faculty and academic coaches involved with the Executive MBA program gather together to share insights, best practices, and program enhancements. It is here, in front of a group of their peers, that the Dean’s Award for Coaching Excellence is presented. The Dean’s Award for Coaching Excellence recognizes outstanding coaching by Faculty of Business graduate-level academic coaches. Candidates for this award are nominated by students which speaks to their dedication and impact on students. P i ct u r e d L - R: G l e nn C ol t ma n, D e a n, D e b or a h Hu r st , D r. O l i ve r Ma ck/ A ngi e Z a n d e r

This distinguished award for excellence in coaching is given annually in recognition of the notable achievements in the following areas: excellence in presentation of subject matter, innovation of delivery, sustained achievements in coaching, and high standards of service to students.

The 2016 recipients are the embodiment of exceptional coaching. Congratulations to Glenn Coltman, Academic Coach, Human Resources, and Dr. Oliver Mack, Academic Coach, Operations Management, on receiving the 2016 Dean’s Award for Coaching Excellence!

Seeking the gold standard of accreditation Today, more so than ever before, business schools operate in highly competitive, demanding, and complex markets that necessitate programs and services demonstrating relevance, quality, and value. To be a leading business school requires focus, commitment, and excellence. In this highly competitive market, Athabasca University’s Faculty of Business continually strives to be an educational leader as we develop new approaches to teaching and learning, design and deploy new programs, and seek out relationships that foster innovation, quality, and performance. AU has been a member of the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) since 1997-98 and is now pursuing that accreditation as the next step in our development journey. Why AACSB? AACSB Accreditation is the benchmark of quality business education. Accredited schools are considered to be the best in the world representing the highest standard of achievement – fewer than five per cent of business schools worldwide are AACSB Accredited. “AACSB Accreditation provides external validation of business education quality that is recognized worldwide. Athabasca University’s Faculty of Business is a global leader in online business learning – for us this move is a game changer,” says Dr. Terry Beckman, Associate Dean, Research and Accreditation, who is leading the accreditation process within the Faculty of Business. AACSB Accreditation is a rigourous process that can take up to five years to achieve. AACSB identifies and assesses educational performance in significant areas, such as; quality of teaching, research breadth and depth, and program and curriculum development.

Key steps to attaining AACSB Accreditation Athabasca University’s Faculty of Business will leverage its strengths and continue to focus on adding value to our student’s experience. We have made significant progress in this journey, and we are continuing to work diligently towards the ultimate goal of AACSB Accreditation. Having already been accepted into the accreditation process by AACSB, Athabasca University’s Faculty of Business has developed, and is about to submit an initial Self Evaluation Report – one of the most significant milestones of the process. Based on AACSB’s review of that report, Athabasca University’s Faculty of Business will work towards the given time lines to fully align itself with the accreditation standards where there are currently gaps. Subsequently, three additional steps are required:

› › ›

Develop a final Self Evaluation Report (SER). AACSB will review SER, following submission. Additional revisions may be required following review. Peer review visit to Athabasca University’s Faculty of Business by AACSB Peer Review team. Recommendations or denials for accreditation are ratified by the Initial Accreditation Committee (IAC). Recommendations are then forwarded to the AACSB Board of Directors for ratification. If ratified, the Faculty of Business becomes AACSB Accredited.

There is still significant work to be done along the way. However, the positive impact of this work, and the continuous improvement processes that are being put into place, will make our programs stronger, and will provide more value to our students in the education they receive and the value of the degrees they attain.


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ROCKET SCIENCE IS THE EASY PART by E l i z a be th Ho we l l

Canada was gripped with Star Wars fever in 1977 when the first movie was released in theatres. Athabasca University (AU) Faculty of Business student Stefanie Ruel saw it as a child – “I remember sitting in the theatre going, ‘Oh my God, this is so cool. How do I get into space?’” – and parlayed her obsession into a career where she supports Canadian astronauts exploring the final frontier. Twenty years after seeing the Millennium Falcon zoom around the universe, Stefanie joined the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) to help take pictures of Earth using a famous Canadian satellite called Radarsat-1. Then she jumped into space life sciences research in 2001, leading experiments for astronauts and other microgravity researchers to use. Her experiments have flown on airplanes simulating microgravity, in the space shuttle, and even on the International Space Station.

Stefanie’s days are busy. She has four children and makes frequent trips between Montreal (CSA headquarters) and Houston (where NASA’s human spaceflight program is centred at the Johnson Space Center). She frequently works operations, meaning she has to be available around the clock for when the astronauts need her and her team. It’s in this intense environment that she noticed a need to bring in more Canadians just like her. Stefanie is the only female mission manager in Canada, and she says that has to change. She is pursuing her Doctorate of Business Administration (DBA) at AU to find out why, and what to do next. “I’m passionate about my research, and I’m bound and determined to make a difference within this industry,” Stefanie said. “My daughter is adopted. She’s a visible minority. She’s special needs, and she’s a young girl, and she’s brilliant. I don’t want her to be pushed aside if she wants to work in the space industry because she is a woman or a visible minority or handicapped. I’m driven to make a difference for my daughter, and everyone’s daughters. The status quo is not acceptable.” Her goal is to change the way that women are treated in the space industry and in space operations in particular. She remembers a CSA meeting early in her career where a male senior executive told her she would be useful, because as the female voice she could mediate the all-male group there. She played the role of mediator as she was asked to, but as she grew older she realized and decided that she should and would have a choice in the matter.

R a d a rs a t - 1 / © C a n a d i a n S p a c e A g e nc y


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Ste f a n ie R u e l / R o do l f o M oraga

At NASA, by contrast, Stefanie remembers an early-career meeting where she walked into a room and saw the table only had women at it. No men. “It struck me at that very moment, ‘Wait a second. I’m usually the only woman around the table. How come at NASA it’s different, and racially, and ethnically diverse, too?’” Stefanie suspects the reason may be how people talk to each other in the different space organizations. Space is notorious for being full of acronyms and technical terms, but she wonders how much of the language is also biased against women, minorities, and people of different races. She plans a discourse-driven study to see the identities people are forced to assume to make it in the space industry. Her ethics board just approved the study in June of this year, meaning research is at an early stage. She will keep seeking subjects until her study parameters are satisfied, but her goal is to recruit at least 18 to 20 people encompassing men, women, and transgendered individuals of various sexual orientations, and ethnic backgrounds. “I’m not having any trouble finding people who want to participate,” Stefanie said. “There are a lot of people excited about this, and changing the reality within this industry.” Managing Canadian science in space, Stefanie hopes to have her research finished sometime in 2017, which will help clear her plate again as the next Canadian goes to space. Astronaut David Saint-Jacques is scheduled to lift off from Kazakhstan in November 2018, for a six-month mission, while Stefanie’s life science led experiment is being performed on the International Space Station.


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Saint-Jacques will be eligible to participate in “At Home In Space,” which is a psychology experiment showing how astronauts create social culture while working on the space station for at least six months at a time. For example, Canadians will remember astronaut Chris Hadfield’s guitar playing from space; music is one way that astronauts create culture, but there are other methods such as pictures and conversations. That experiment’s operations began in April and will run through 2019. Stefanie hopes the experiment comes close to the success of her previous space station experiment, called Bodies in the Space Environment, which utilized over 40 hours of crew time. It looked at the pressing problem of why most astronauts see vision changes when they live in space for months at a time. The experiment ran over 2.5 years and more than doubled the usual crew time Canada receives, thanks in large part to Canadian astronaut and physician Bob Thirsk (who did the experiment in space in 2009) promoting it heavily at NASA. Results are still being analyzed. Stefanie adds “it’s an exciting time to be working in spacescience and space exploration. The science we do here at CSA is very thought-provoking and adds an immense amount of value to future missions. We will send people to other planets, beginning with Mars, and it’s so fulfilling to know that the science we are doing today is advancing this. From seeing space in a movie as a child, to dreaming about what it would be like to work in the space-science industry, to actually doing it – that is what dreams are made of.”

“I’m passionate about my research, and I’m bound and determined to make a difference within this industry” -STEFANIE RUEL, MBA ‘11

Why Athabasca University? Ruel finished her Executive MBA at Athabasca University in 2011, capping off three years of going back to school while also working full-time. AU’s MBA program was attractive because she could do the courses on her own schedule, rather than being required to go to class at a certain time. It was during this time that AU brought in its Doctorate of Business Administration program, which Ruel applied to in 2012. “My MBA applied thesis supervisor gave me the courage to look deeply at a situation right here in the Canadian space industry, and I thought, I have to pursue this at the doctorate level,” Ruel said. Again, AU’s culture was a huge factor in Ruel’s application to the DBA program. Specifically, the university is one of the few where Academic Coaches can be located anywhere in the world. Unlike a bricks-and-mortar university, this allows AU to offer the best research assistance possible to its students. Ruel is co-supervised by Athabasca University business professor Janice Thomas, who is a leader in project management, and Albert Mills, a management professor at St. Mary’s University, who focuses on the intersection of gender and work. Other committee members are based in Halifax and Finland. “It’s really a very strong program at AU to open up doors like this, to have the best of the best to help your research go forward,” Ruel said.


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F A C U LT Y O F B U S I N E S S

For more information on our DBA: 1-800-561-4650 business.athabascau.ca

“I am humbled to have received such an honourable award and be recognized by a wider audience of academic peers.� -Dr. Rosalie Hilde, DBA '13 Winner of the 2013 best dissertation award of the Academy of Management Critical Management Studies division, and graduate of the AU Doctorate in Business Administration.


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HANDS ON LEARNING

WHY EVERY STUDENT SHOULD PARTICIPATE IN CASE COMPETITIONS

b y An g i e Z a n d e r p h otograph y Al e xi s M c Ke o w n

Picture this: you are getting ready to make an important presentation to colleagues, management, and senior executives. As you walk into the room do you impress them with your purposeful confidence or do you stumble? Whether you are an undergraduate student newer to the job market or a graduate student in an established career – participating in case competitions is an excellent way to boost competencies, and hone your presentation abilities. CPA Alberta Case Competition The CPA Alberta CASE competition, currently in its eighth year, continues to raise the bar on board governance knowledge and ethics, bringing teams together from a myriad of postsecondary institutions for the opportunity to not only enhance their skills but also for ultimate bragging rights and cash prizes. Meet the 2016 Athabasca University (AU) Faculty of Business team: Maria Metchewais, Andrew Gray, Daniel McIlmoyl, and Emma Moore – team MADE. Team MADE – who travelled from coast to coast to participate in this year’s CPA Case Competition in Calgary, Alberta – began practising, analyzing, building, and presenting cases for many months in advance, all virtually (having had only one face-to-face practice session), in preparation for the daunting two-day intensive competition held in March 2016. The real competition ultimately begins when the teams are handed their cases and sequestered away in separate rooms. The cases are kept a secret right up until they are handed to each team. This year’s teams were given a case about a Canadian mining company with audit and internal control strategy issues, as well as possible environmental contingent liabilities. The prior year’s case was based on a not-for-profit organization, two totally different case scenarios. Teams are given six hours to analyze, prepare, provide solutions, and come up with a captivating presentation for judging the

following morning. Only four teams are selected to move on to the final round, with prizes for the top three. “Competitions like this help students pull what they’ve learned from their coursework – theoretical knowledge – and apply it in a very tough real-world situation. Not only must they analyze a difficult governance case and come up with a solution in a short period of time, they must then present their solutions to a fairly intimidating panel of judges, and defend their work under questioning, it’s an unbeatable learning experience,” says Dr. Aris Solomon, Associate Professor, and Academic Advisor to team MADE. Coming in 2017, CPA Alberta has plans for an exciting new format for their case competitions. Stay tuned for more details to come!

Athabasca University’s Faculty of Business has a history of outstanding performance at CPA Board Governance Case Competitions.

› › › › ›

2016: AU team finishes in 2nd place 2015: AU teams finish in 3rd & 4th place 2014: AU teams finish in 1st & 3rd place 2013: AU team finishes in 2nd place 2012: AU teams finish in 1st & 2nd place


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C PA s t u d e n t s L- R : A n d re w Gra y, M a r ia M e tc h e w a is, Em m a M o o r e , & D a n ie l M c I l m o y l / A l e x is M cKeow n

Chicago Mercantile Exchange Group Trading Challenge Portfolio diversification, market trends, futures and options: Do you have what it takes to be a commodity trader? The Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) Group Trading Challenge is an international competition for business students that provides an authentic, first-hand experience trading in financial markets. It encourages students to gain and develop a deeper understanding of the interactions among trading and markets in our dynamic and ever-changing world. The CME Trading Challenge is currently into its 12th year and continues to grow – In 2016 over 460 teams from all over the world entered the competition. Using live market updates in a simulated environment, students work together over a four-week period to build their portfolio of investments. The team with the largest valued portfolio at the end of the CME Trading Challenge wins ultimate bragging rights! The top 50 finishers in the CME Trading Challenge are also invited to an exclusive one-day Market Education Conference hosted by the CME group in Chicago, Illinois, where they have the opportunity to learn from business experts about the global marketplace and to network with people from the industry’s top-performing firms. Athabasca University’s Faculty of Business sent their first team to the CME Trading Challenge in 2013. Since then we have expanded and in 2016 sent four teams to participate. The competition was the fiercest it has ever been this year and although AU team The Generals put up a relentless fight to the end, they were unfortunately, unable to finish in the top 50. However, because of the massive gains they made in their final push – moving up over 200 spots in one day – they were invited to Chicago to take part in the Market Education Conference. “This competition is not only a great learning experience, it also allows our students to work together in a team environment – collaborating, sharing insight, and working proactively towards

a common goal while also applying the skills and knowledge they have learned in their finance courses. Moreover, our students have the advantage of using both fundamental and technical analyses learned to help them build investment strategies and portfolios in their future,” says Dr. Merlyn Foo, Assistant Professor, Finance.

What’s Trading? Futures are derivatives originally designed to allow farmers to hedge against changes in the prices of their crops between planting and harvest. That is why many futures contracts focus on things such as livestock and grains. However, the futures market has long since expanded to include much more – agriculture (corn, soybeans, and live cattle futures), energy (crude oil and natural gas futures), metals (gold futures), equity (E-mini S&P 500 futures) – just to name a few! Past teams to compete in the CME Trading Challenge on behalf of Athabasca University › 2016: The Generals, Team West, Team AU, AU Traders › 2015: AU Traders, Far & Wide, INK AU Traders › 2014: AU Traders, AU Maple Leafs, AU Bulls › 2013: Calgary Traders Did you know? The Faculty of Business covers travel, accommodation, and a per diem for students involved in case competitions. Case study participation can also count as credit towards your degree. Think you might have what it takes to participate in an upcoming Case Competition? Email us at business@fb.athabascau.ca for more information!


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INTO THE UNKNOWN MARKET UNCERTAINTY MAY BECOME THE NORM. HOW CAN BUSINESS ADAPT AND THRIVE?

b y Je remy D erkse n p h o tog ra phy Mi c h e lle W h ite / Sam Valad i

Stock Market App/Michelle White


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When oil prices hit rock bottom in the spring of 2016 and international firms were laying off staff by the hundreds, Reece Tomlinson, Athabasca University MBA ’10, was watching with a sympathetic eye. As the former CEO of a construction company in the resource sector, Reece had recent experience managing losses and layoffs. It had been his first opportunity to take leadership of an organization, so he had stepped into the role with excitement. But he quickly realized he’d been handed a company in trouble. He was immediately faced with some very tough choices. “We had to lay off a large amount of our staff – about 30 per cent – in a period of a few weeks,” he recalls. “It was gut-wrenching. It has the potential to really demoralize staff. It impacts people’s lives…everyone who worked for us I knew personally, I knew their families.” “For me, as a leader, it was the most challenging thing I had to go through by far,” he says. “It was 100 per cent my decision and it wasn’t easy.” Hard as it was, Reece doesn’t have regrets. “If I was to do it all again,” he says, “I’d make cuts faster and deeper… by the time you start thinking you should do it, you should probably already have done it. It’s the difference between some jobs lost to an entire company lost.” During the global commodity collapse of the last year, many senior managers confronted dilemmas similar to Reece’s. Oil has climbed up from its market low in March 2016, but forecasters are still cautious. Gold, copper, platinum, and other commodity staples suffered as well. And financial markets are wary. Lynn Patterson, deputy governor for the Bank of Canada, has estimated it may take more than two years for the economy to adjust to “the commodity price shock.” She also anticipates that a “new economic balance will likely take shape” over that time, with the commodity sector playing a reduced role in Canada’s GDP. So how does a company navigate through instability as a result of unpredictable markets, socio-economic shifts, and rapid technological advance? From industry to industry, smalland-medium sized enterprises to Fortune 500 leaders, situations may vary but the bottom line is, organizations need to be prepared to deal with sudden and dramatic changes in markets. “If you look at global forecasts for business as a whole,” Reece says, “one thing that we should expect is more uncertainty.” Forecasts are one useful way to help business anticipate market behaviour, but speculating on the future can only yield so much insight. “Nobody’s got a crystal ball and we all have our assumptions based on risk tolerances and what we think is going to happen in the future,” says Michael Mauws, Professor of Business Policy and Strategy at Athabasca University (AU). “But if you’re realistic and look far enough back in history, you need to be prepared for downturns.” Beginning in the late 1980s, Michael launched software startups, managed manufacturing firms, hotels, and recreation complexes. He combines that entrepreneurial background with over 20 years of academics, 12 of those with AU (going back to 2004) – so he has some solid experience and history to draw on.

“We’ve got a whole generation of business leaders that have never known anything but low interest rates,” he says. “I’m old enough to remember interest rates of 19 per cent. So I always wonder about the possibility of interest rates going up. I don’t think it’s going to happen any time soon but I’m always looking to see when it’s going up – not if.” “One of my first investments was a savings bond that returned at 19 per cent,” he recalls. “If you get into an environment where people don’t look far enough back in history to see that things can and have been different, you’re going to make decisions based on things staying as they are.” On the other hand, getting too accustomed to market inflections has its risks as well. It’s one thing to have the confidence to stand strong in the face of a storm, and another to be complacent when the earth is shifting under your feet. “Where I happen to live, people have come to accept these kinds of swings, and that can be dangerous in itself,” he cautions. “Yes there are business cycles…but it’s also important to be thinking about structural change. There’s always a danger in assuming that any trend line is going to continue in perpetuity.” For that reason, Michael says, having an enterprise risk management model in place is key. “What people are doing is placing bets. You can go all in and have a deal that makes the company, or kills it, or you can diversify and hedge your bets on a more modest scale – you’re not going to go down if any one deal goes south.” Business strategy is often viewed as an “aggressive tool” in the management toolbox, says Michael, to exploit opportunities and grow business. But it can also help protect a company against threats to its business. The traditional SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) can be useful to get companies looking at all sides of the equation, he says, and watching for the right things.


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“If you look at global forecasts for business as a whole, one thing that we should expect is more uncertainty.” -REECE TOMLINSON, MBA ‘10

“The first thing is to have some form of environmental scanning to give you an early warning when things start to turn,” Michael sets out. “And structure yourself in such a way that you can not only scale up but scale down.” As Reece saw from experience, during periods of unchecked growth some businesses don’t take the time to put those warning systems in place; instead, they rush ahead to meet demand. “Most businesses, you have times where it’s all out, everyone is moving quickly – it’s easy to spend money pretty quickly at times,” he says. “It’s important to look back and see what could be shaved off.” “If you’re in a situation where you’re experiencing pricing pressure and/or decreased revenues, monitoring cash flow is incredibly important. To ensure you have no loads on your balance sheet, you need to get rid of assets that are redundant and decrease operating costs wherever you can.” A company that knows its vulnerabilities and is nimble enough to scale can certainly react better when markets drop. But there are other ways to limit exposure and increase competitiveness at any time – lessons that can be learned before fortunes plummet. “When you’re in any kind of economy, the playing conditions are the same for everyone so you really have to look at your business from a different lens,” says Reece. “It’s easy to grow at five per cent, 10 per cent when the market’s growing five or 10 per cent.” Michael is a firm believer in “stress-testing”

business models. When a company tests its assumptions under different market conditions, it can help gain clarity about what the business actually is and does. “If the goal is survival and year over year return to shareholders, know the business you’re in and don’t be lured away by potential windfalls,” Michael cautions. Some businesses, he says, “need to decide whether they’re going to play it safe or get greedy and expose themselves to the vicissitudes of the market.” Having been through some difficult times in his first role as a leader, Tomlinson is heavily focused on building corporate resilience. A major part of that, he says, is investing in culture. “I’m a huge proponent of corporate culture; it’s the single most important aspect of whether a company can succeed or not. Time and again, companies with strong corporate culture outperform the market dramatically.” “Regardless of what kind of economy you’re in, if you have a strong corporate culture you’re going to have employees willing to do a little more, to do what it takes to make the company successful because they see the benefits for them in the long run.” In the wake of the commodity collapse, a lot of companies made moves to trim their balance sheets, primarily by cutting staff. “So many businesses today, especially in oil and gas, have reduced their workforce by 40 per cent,” says Debby Carreau, AU MBA ’10, founder and CEO of Calgary-based Inspired HR. Debby has assisted in downsizing and

restructuring with major firms across North America. The company currently provides outsourced staffing solutions for 400,000 positions across the continent. “We’ve seen three significant rounds of layoffs,” she recounts. “Many companies have made huge rollbacks or cut benefits. They’re re-evaluating what’s meaningful, what they need to keep, and what can be clawed back to save jobs.” What’s more, she says, is that there is a ripple effect. “There’s been a lot of change in human capital in the oil patch, but even one or two industries removed as well.” Now CEO at Intraline Medical Aesthetics, Reece leads a company that develops luxury products for spa treatments and elective medical procedures. He oversees a staff of 10, with clients in nine countries, and he’s looking to double the workforce and expand into at least three new countries in the coming few years. While the company is not directly linked to global commodities, he is conscious of how their business is impacted by trade in those commodities. “Many of our customers are in countries that have heavy reliance on the resource sector,” he explains. “So whether it’s pricing pressure or credit pressure, it certainly has lingering effects for us as a company. When people have shortages in discretionary income…you notice it as a business.” Both Debby and Reece have learned from the experiences of the last couple years. In Reece’s view, companies need


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C h a r g ing Bu l l - Ne w Yo r k City / CC I m a g e c o u r t e sy o f Sa m Va l a di o n F li ckr

to be responsive to market pressures, and where possible, proactive. Anticipating market shifts and taking a step back to evaluate strategy and re-align with the market can help ensure both customer loyalty and profitability. “Your customers need change,” he argues. “They have different requirements than they did two years ago and you need to evaluate your model and figure out how you can continue to provide the services customers need, while still operating a competitive model.” At the macro level, suggests Debby, market downturns can also trigger needed change. “This reset was necessary,” she says, of the impact on Alberta’s resource sector. “Wages in Alberta were artificially inflated. Salaries were much higher than in other parts of Canada.” While some companies find themselves in a crunch with bloated payrolls, this creates an opportunity for some of the

more strategic players in a market. “Organizations that have cash are using it to get talent they maybe couldn’t afford before,” she explains. “So it’s an opportunity to upscale the workforce.” That balance of risk and opportunity is part of the ebb and flow of business. The recent collapse in commodity prices did hurt some businesses, says Michael, but what is the big picture? “The implications are much different for commodity producers than they are for those that use commodities as an input in the production process – for them, this may represent an opportunity,” he reflects. “Is it really a crisis or just a short-term business cycle that creates an opportunity to lock in lower prices or pick up assets at distressed prices?” If he were putting the question to leaders in the commodity industry, says Michael, the first things he would ask are, “What are you doing to stress test your business

model, and how well did it prepare you for the events of the last few years? Looking ahead, what would you do differently in your strategic planning?” In that sense, being resilient as a business is a process of constant learning and re-evaluating. “You have to be prepared for things to take a downward turn, but on the other hand you want to be poised to capitalize when things take a turn for the better.”


AT H A B A S C A U N I V E R S I T Y

FIRST-EVER HONORARY CERTIFIED HOCKEY PROFESSIONAL DESIGNATION TO BE AWARDED TO JOHN F. M C DONOUGH, PRESIDENT AND CEO OF THE CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS

by D e r e k D r a g e r

Most hockey fans know the Chicago Blackhawks have won three Stanley Cups since 2010 – the closest thing to a dynasty the NHL has seen in decades. And they know the names of great Blackhawks stars like Kane, Toews, and Keith. Even though the architect of all this glory doesn’t enjoy the same Q-Rating as the guys on skates, Blackhawks President and CEO John McDonough is a business star in his own right. In 2009, even before the silverware started to pile up in Chicago, Forbes magazine lauded McDonough as the driver of “the greatest sports-business turnaround ever.” Hired by Chicago Blackhawks Chairman Rocky Wirtz in 2007, McDonough grabbed the NHL’s most moribund franchise by the collar and dragged it from “worst to first” in just over two years, on the ice and on the balance sheet.

That’s why the Business of Hockey Institute (BHI), and its academic partner Athabasca University (AU), have chosen John McDonough to receive the first honorary Certified Hockey Professional (CHP) designation. The CHP designation is a new professional standard created by BHI to serve the hockey think tank’s mission: “to improve the economic viability of professional and amateur hockey through education, research, consulting, and advocacy.” To this end, the CHP designation works toward four specific objectives: 1. Identify and recognize the executives and managers whose efforts make it possible for others to play and watch the most exciting sport on the planet. 2. Encourage talented executives and managers to pursue a career in the hockey business. 3. Create a pool of draft-ready managerial talent to staff hockey-related organizations. 4. Improve the economic viability of professional and amateur hockey.


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J o h n F. M c D o no u g h / Co u r t e sy o f t h e Ch ic a g o Bl a c k h a w ks

BHI confers this professional designation on graduates of AU’s Executive MBA with hockey-specific courses. Holders of other graduate level business degrees can also earn the CHP designation by completing the six senior graduate level courses that cover the hockey-related topics offered through AU. McDonough will receive this distinctive honour at the PrimeTime Sports & Entertainment Conference in Toronto on November 13, 2016, which takes place on the weekend of the NHL Hall of Fame induction ceremony. He will also deliver the keynote address the following day to a roomful of sports business achievers eager to hear how he transformed the Blackhawks. There is some irony in the fact that BHI’s first Certified Hockey Professional was originally a baseball man. McDonough spent 24 years with the Chicago Cubs, rising to become the team’s President and building one of the strongest business operations in Major League Baseball. The homegrown Chicago boy applied the same principles when he moved from Wrigley Field to the United Center. Under McDonough’s leadership, the Blackhawks’ innovative “One Goal” campaign used a variety of media platforms to put a human face on each of their players and instill passion and loyalty in a burgeoning fan base.

The CHP is the latest in a slew of business, community, and academic honours conferred on John McDonough. He’s earned the respect of his peers not just for his marketing wizardry, but also for his commitment to his community. Herb Pinder, Chair of the Business of Hockey Institute, says it best, “John is the role model for anyone working in professional sports and this is exactly what the honorary CHP was created to recognize. His example is what every hockey executive and leader should attempt to emulate.”


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Jay S hurman/Greg H ali n d a


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OUT OF THE FIRE b y E l i zabet h Ho well p h o tog ra phy Greg Halinda

The images of an estimated 90,000 people fleeing Fort McMurray’s devastating wildfire in May sent shock waves across Canada and all around the world. Videos emerged on social media of the fire burning just feet from the main evacuation route on Highway 63. An estimated 1,800 homes were lost. The insurance claims were the highest this country has ever seen. But in the midst of the disaster – which generated $3.58 billion in insurance claims alone – there were also inspiring tales of hope. Thousands of volunteers helped the displaced. Firefighters, hospital workers, transit operators, water plant employees, and many other industry workers pulled extra hours to help. It’s almost unbelievable that there were no lives lost to the fire. Separations and reunions “People were coming up from Edmonton with jerry cans,” recalls Concetta Gillard, an Academic Coordinator with Athabasca University’s Faculty of Business, who spent 12 hours trying to get from Fort McMurray to Edmonton when the mandatory evacuation order was handed down May 3. “They were giving them to people who were stranded on the highway because their trucks and cars had run out of gas, it was pretty incredible.” Concetta was separated from her youngest son for the first day of the evacuation, because her family went to pick up a car from the shop after a tire change. While trying to drive back home, they got caught in the evacuation flow and were forced south out of the city. Her son tried to catch up in another car, but was directed north due to the massive outflow of traffic. After having to sleep in the car overnight, he left early in the morning and was allowed south to join his family in Edmonton. The air conditioning broke in the car and the air was still smoky, but Concetta’s son made it safely. “He walked in and I just gave him a hug, I was so relieved,” Concetta said. Like Concetta’s family, Jay Schurman’s family escaped with just the clothes on their backs and their cell phones. Jay, a current Athabasca University MBA student, caught a ride with a neighbour who happened to be at the gym at the same time that he was. Meanwhile, his wife was in a panic to pick up their five-year-old son from school before rushing out of town separately. They reunited in Edmonton the next

morning, all safe – but with all of their belongings and home lost to the flames in Beacon Hill, one of the most devastated neighbourhoods of the city. “We had a digital play-by-play of what was going on at the house,” said Jay, who had a home security system. “We had a good idea the house was gone based on 15 or 20 notifications from the stuff going on in the house. Door open, door close. Window open, window close. We were waiting a week or so to see the final photos [from the site], but I was pretty certain I knew what had happened.” Jay now finds himself using his MBA to manage his personal life – as well as his professional life at Suncor Energy. He applied the theory of supply and demand to the 3-4 year wait for houses and decided that for now, it would be less stressful to have his family move to a house they own in British Columbia. In the long term, he’s considering renting a place in Edmonton to make visits easier. Jay says he knows, however, that his community as well as the community-at-large is behind him and “it’s a remarkable feeling to have with everything else that has happened.” He recalls a day shortly after the fire when his wife was asked to go into school because “something happened with your son.” It turned out that the school had raised a bunch of money for the family, and gathered toys and gift cards for their son. “There was a lot of unexpected support, in that regard, from complete strangers – so to speak. It was so overwhelming.”


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J a y Sh u r m a n ’ s h o m e i n B ea c on Hill followin g the fir e /Cour te s y of Jay S hurman

Lending space Fort McMurray and the surrounding municipality are well-known for the extensive oil deposits in the region, which is a huge driver in the economy. The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, which includes Fort McMurray, estimates there will be $125 billion in oil sands investment in the next decade. The oil sands industry has brought a boom to this region of northern Alberta, also driving the growth of Highway 63, the hospital, and population. It’s now a large community. The Fort McMurray fire was the biggest natural disaster in Canada, says rating agency DBRS. The mayor of the municipality found herself conducting staff and council meetings from temporary quarters at the city of Edmonton, which generously lent her space. “Even that vital stuff you get through the radio station – those folks had to evacuate too,” Mayor Melissa Blake and Athabasca University business alumna recalled of the day the fire started, when she, her husband, her children, and dogs drove to Edmonton. “The communications shifted as the fire shifted. It was an extraordinary event that I don’t think anyone could be sufficiently prepared for. It was a combination of great effort and a lot of luck.” She remembers speaking twice a day at least with some of the major industry representatives trying to help the region get through the fire, such as Telus, Shaw, and representatives from the gas and electric industries. She heard exceptional tales of water workers staying behind to make sure the fire fighters could continue their work, and a transit worker rushing to get a woman in labour to the Northern Lights Regional Health Centre, the only hospital in the city.

Fort McMurray Fire on May 7th, compared to major cities:

Vancouver, BC

New York City, US

London, UK


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Helping the vulnerable The hospital itself was quickly evacuated as well. After co-ordinating with Alberta Health Services (AHS), Westjet rushed a 737 to Fort McMurray to transport 105 patients and continuing care clients, as well as 73 medical staff, said Mauro Chies, a Vice President at AHS. Once the plane landed in Edmonton, he recalled, seven babies and their parents were dispatched to the Royal Alexandra Hospital; other patients were sent to different hospitals for their respective medical conditions. The hospital survived the fire with $13 million in damage, mostly from water firefighters used to protect the structure. A temporary critical care centre opened May 14, with the hospital itself opening to emergency services June 1, expanding its operating rooms June 13, and re-opening completely June 25. “After every natural disaster, we always get the group together to do a lessons learned exercise,” said Chies, who received his MBA from Athabasca University in 2008. In this case, AHS had two recent incidents to draw from – the Slave Lake fire of 2011, and the floods in southern Alberta in 2013. “The Fort Mac fire was that much more well-coordinated because, fortunately and unfortunately at the same time, we had other events to learn from,” Chies said. Houses must now be rebuilt, and insurance claims processed. Winter is quickly approaching Alberta, which means that as the cleanup finishes in the coming months, it will be well into 2017 before construction begins in earnest. Yet, the spirit in the community has not dampened with the ongoing challenges. Mayor Blake – who received a Bachelor of Administration degree from Athabasca in 1998 – says there are still many local fundraisers. She also greatly acknowledges the support of the Red Cross and all the individual Canadians that donated to that foundation to help her community through the crisis. Many communities to the south, including Athabasca, opened their homes to displaced residents, something she said she wants to thank everybody for. While times are sometimes tough for her residents, Blake said her council meetings include frequent mentions of the resources people can use to get through. “Being strong, safe, and resilient together is the thing.”

Looking for Information? › › › › › › › › › › › › › › › › ›

PULSE: Wood Buffalo Call Line 780-743-7000 The RMWB website: rmwb.ca Alberta Health Link: 811 Alberta Government Information Line for evacuees: 310-4455 Alberta Works: 1-866-644-5135 Alberta.ca 24-hour information line for community, health, government & social services: 211 ATCO Gas: Toll-free 310-5678 Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday/Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. ATCO Electric Toll-free 24-hour electricity outage line: 1-800-668-5506 Underground Services: 780-799-5823 Fortis Alberta: Toll-free 1-866-717-3113 TELUS Mobility: *611 on your TELUS mobile phone or 1-866-558-2273 TELUS Internet: Toll-free 1-888-811-2323 Shaw Toll-free: 1-888-472-2222 Trans Alta: 1-877-700-9288 Bell Mobility: 1-800-667-0123 Bell TV: 1-888-759-3474

Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) Several NGOs are ready and willing to help the RMWB community. The following NGOs will be providing various services in the weeks and months ahead:

› ›

Red Cross (redcross.ca) 1-888-350-6070 Salvation Army (salvationarmy.ca)

At the start of August 2016, the Canadian Red Cross reported that $299 million had been raised, which included $165 million donated by Canadians.


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Brian Burke

Co-founder, Business of Hockey Institute President of Hockey Operations, Calgary Flames

FOR MORE INFORMATION about the online Executive MBA for the Business of Hockey and the Certified Hockey Professional designation:

1.800.561.4650 business.athabascau.ca/hockey-mba Applications Deadline: MBA and CHP designation: March 15, 2017 In partnership with:

Athabasca University has collaborated with the Business of Hockey Institute to develop an elite, graduate level, hockey specific Executive MBA to elevate the business side of the game. For the first time in hockey’s history, a program is in place to develop the leaders in the boardroom, rather than on the ice. The MBA CHP is designed for elite individuals working within hockey and hockey related industries. The right candidate, with an exceptional record of management and leadership outside of hockey, will also be considered.


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THE TIES THAT BIND by J e r e my D e r ks e n

Su z ie a nd D e vo n Sm ib e r t/ Co u r t e sy o f Su z ie Smi bert

In the first year of marriage a lot can happen. For Devon and Suzie Smibert, two IT security specialists who met while on the job, each had to learn to adapt to the other’s busy lifestyle. But it wasn’t just work that kept the two on the run. Literally – Devon also serves in the army reserves, Suzie runs marathons. If that wasn’t enough, both had embarked on an ambitious course of studies – each pursuing their MBAs at Athabasca University. Ask anyone who’s completed an MBA while working, and almost invariably they will tell you that studying while also managing a full-time job and family commitments can be a challenge. Family support and understanding are critical for success. Challenges intensify when both husband and wife are studying, in the same program, and endeavouring to keep up high-level work commitments. For many newly married couples, that could spell disaster. Rather than let the pressure strain their relationship, the Smibert’s viewed their studies as a healthy test of their commitment – and a way to find mutual balance. “Being in an intensive program, it was good that we were both busy and studying at the same time, rather than if only one of us was doing it, with one having to wait around for the other,” Devon explains. It also helped that each understood what the other was going through. At the same time, understanding and being able to help were two different things, “It is very hard to learn from a spouse,” Suzie laughs. “Like teaching a spouse to drive or do any activity…but through it, I’ve definitely become better at learning from him. It brought us together,” says Suzie. “If we can get through this we can get through anything, if we do it as a team.”


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R e e d a n d J e ssic a Cl a r k e / Co u r t e sy o f J e ssic a C la rke

Reed and Jessica Clarke found similar comfort in having someone in the immediate family to turn to who was going through the same experience. As twins, the two had always been close, but sharing the MBA experience brought them even closer. “My first year going through the MBA, I talked to Reed a lot about it,” says Jessica, of how she recruited her brother into the program. “We had both talked about doing a master’s before, but talking about it is one thing. It’s a ton of work to have a life, a job, and study…once you’re in it and you’re doing it, it’s a whole different thing.” In some ways, says Jessica, studying together is a continuation of their experience growing up. “Everything Reed did, I did,” she recalls. “Everyone would say, ‘oh, there go the Clarke twins.’ But do we finish each other’s sentences? I wouldn’t say that.” “I remember in elementary, we got tested for some kind of twin intuition,” Reed recalls, “but it came back negative.” Being ahead of her younger brother (Reed is 22 minutes her junior) in her studies, Jessica has been able to offer insights that have helped in preparation, says Reed. But what both value most is the shared understanding of the combined demands of family and study. “It’s kind of nice when you have a family dinner, and you’ve worked all week, and now you have a 5000-word paper due, no one is going to give you grief about it,” says Jessica, “at least someone else in the family gets it.” “Being in this course has shown us that we can do all those things that we imagined doing,” adds Reed, whose newest responsibilities also include a 13-month-old son. The twins muse about one day launching a joint venture, but for now their focus is solidly on completing the MBA program at AU.


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For Brady Harder, a current Athabasca University student in the Bachelor of Commerce program, having a dad who championed higher learning was an important influence. Warren Harder wasn’t just a vocal proponent though, he was a role model – while in his late 30s, working full time with two young kids at home – he completed his MBA at AU in 2004, going on to hold senior roles specializing in fleet management, heavy equipment servicing, manufacturing, and quality assurance. “He was a big advocate,” Brady says. “He wanted to see me have the same success he did.” Listening to dad’s advice paid off in several ways, Brady adds. Even if he isn’t quite following the same path, he says, “I knew from my father how the process worked. I chose to start a career outside the path, then take opportunities as they come and slowly work toward my goal…he still gives me a lot of pep talks.” That legacy – of higher education, smart planning, and personal determination – is likely in the back of Reed Clarke’s mind too, as he pursues his path with his own growing family. One thing that remains consistent, whether parent-child, siblings, or couples, the shared experience of pursuing a goal seems to have strengthened their bonds. Family members who “get it” provide support and a personal cheer team when the going gets tough. And, as Devon and Suzie found out, sometimes a shared family name alone leads to unexpected special occasions. Though the two started separately and studied at different paces, they wound up finishing in the same semester. Thus when it came time for convocation, they received their degrees at the same time in 2013 – walking the stage one right after the other. After putting their relationship to the test, it was perhaps the best way to celebrate the strength of their new union. And it will probably help with remembering anniversaries too.

Wa rre n a n d B ra d y H a rd e r/ Co u r te sy o f Wa r r e n H a r de r


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WITH ATHABASCA UNIVERSITY FACULTY OF BUSINESS

Small Ways to Make a BIG Difference MAKE

CONNECTIONS

Build your network, connect with students and alumni in your area, become an alumni chapter coordinator, attend an event! We look forward to seeing you at our next event. Contact Us!

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ROAD TO THE DRAFT by D e r e k D r a g e r

The NHL’s annual amateur draft is the biggest event in its business calendar. If the Stanley Cup is hockey’s Holy Grail, the draft is its Round Table. It’s the one occasion where everyone involved with the game – owners, league executives, general managers, coaches and scouts, players, agents, media, and fans – all assemble under one roof. It inspires months of nail-biting and prognosticating leading up to the fateful weekend, then endless debate, evaluating, and wheeling and dealing during and after the event. Craig Button, TSN’s draft expert and board member of the Business of Hockey Institute (BHI), Athabasca University’s (AU) partner in the Executive MBA featuring hockey-specific courses, says the business implications of the draft are huge. “It’s an opportunity to really change the composition of your team.” There’s a tremendous amount of hoopla around this opportunity, and with all the TV cameras, the grand announcements, and the handwringing and handshaking, there’s a circus-like atmosphere at the draft. Button quips: “I don’t know if it’s a circus, but there’s definitely some juggling going on.” There’s no better place to see the drama of the business of hockey than to watch its practitioners working under the glare of media and fan scrutiny. At times there’s an almost frantic air to the proceedings, as management staff and scouts scurry from one team delegation to another trying to work that magic deal that will take their team to the “promised land.” So it follows that there would be no better place for AU students in the Executive MBA for the business of hockey to get this robust exposure to the business they’re studying and its leading pro’s. That’s why a contingent of 12 students and representatives from the BHI board of directors convened in Buffalo – host city for the 2016 draft – on June 23, 24 and 25. This was the second pilgrimage to the NHL draft undertaken by AU students, the first being the previous year. Dr. Michael Mauws is the Executive Director of BHI and AU Professor of Business Policy and Strategy. He worked with BHI co-founders Ritch Winter and Brian Burke to set up a weekend of meetings, presentations, and purpose-planned schmoozing for the students, all to serve two main objectives. Mauws sees AU’s draft excursion as a relationship-building exercise. N H L E n t ry D ra ft / A n gi e Z a nde r


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“I don’t know if it’s a circus, but there’s definitely some juggling going on.” -CRAIG BUTTON

He can meet face-to-face with students, who are from across Canada and the U.S., and students also have the opportunity to get to know each other a little better. The second objective is to introduce students to senior executives working in the hockey business, which includes diverse roles that go far beyond running an NHL franchise. This not only affords students access to key movers and shakers within the business, but it also allows them to learn about the different opportunities that abound in the world of hockey. Nevin Markwart, director on the BHI board of directors, former Boston Bruins player, and current President and CEO at Front Street Capital, urges the students to keep an open mind and that “hockey as a global entertainment entity continues to grow and evolve, there are new and yet to be discovered roles.” That is what this learning experience is all about. To hear several of the students tell it, BHI met both of the weekend’s objectives with resounding success. Kerry McGowan was one of five first-year MBA students in the group. He is the 50-something President of Trilogy Oilfield Ltd., based in Provost, Alberta, and a veteran of the oilpatch. Toughened and made shrewder by the economic ups and downs that plague his industry he has diversified his portfolio, investing in other opportunities - OilersNation chief among them. He was upbeat and positive, even glowing, as he enthused about how well the trip was organized and what he called “the almost overwhelming quality of the people we met,” referring to his fellow students as well as the dazzling array of big-time hockey executives. Taylor Reid, is a second-year AU student working as a senior client strategist with PriceWaterhouseCoopers in Philadelphia. He was just as impressed as McGowan, and really appreciated how the weekend enhanced his understanding of the different

paths people can take to achieve success in the business and not just the typical “cut-and-dried” path. Brett Barnes is also in his second year of the MBA program, and like Reid, in his late twenties. He confessed that during his first AU draft foray in 2015 he was a little overwhelmed with the star quality of the event and the people he met (he was not alone in that regard). But at this second go-round he was, in his own words, “more clear-headed,” which helped him concentrate on the work he was there to do in addition to his learning responsibilities. Barnes is an up-and-coming player agent from Penticton, BC, and his firm, RWG Sport Management, had several young clients at the draft. Although he was looking after clients, Barnes managed to focus on Ritch Winter, who, as one of the NHL’s best known agents, enjoys a cachet with players that Barnes would like to earn for himself some day: “I get a lot out of being around him. I try to be a sponge and take in everything I can,” he says. One of the many power players that met with AU students was Bob Fallen, President and commissioner of the United States Hockey League, the American version of major junior hockey. Formerly an executive with Reebok-CCM Hockey, Fallen is known in U.S. business circles as a tough negotiator and an aggressive corporate leader. Kerry McGowan was impressed by Fallen’s vision – to raise the USHL to the level of the Canadian Hockey League (players drafted, number of teams) – and his detailed, five-year plan to turn that vision into reality. McGowan is a self-confessed note-taker, and his memo to himself after hearing Fallen was on the virtues of planning for success. Another speaker who hit the target for McGowan was Brad Robins, BHI board member and one of North America’s


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L -R : Pie r r e -L u c D u b o is, A u st o n M a t th e w s, Pa tr ik L a ine / G e tty I mages

leading sports marketing consultants. McGowan says, “He asked each of us ‘What is your personal brand?’ and I realized I really have to think about that.” Robins went on to say it’s acutely important to know and understand what your personal brand is and to have a vision to make it happen. As a player agent, Brett Barnes was thinking about what he could learn to serve his clients better. So he really valued the AU group’s attendance at the breakfast hosted by College Hockey Inc., an NCAA partner that works to encourage players from above and below the 49th parallel to choose the college hockey path to the NHL, rather than the major junior route. For Barnes, who has several college players whom he currently serves as a “family advisor” (NCAA players aren’t allowed agents), this session was invaluable, providing good information on issues such as academics and eligibility. There were other sessions that piqued the students’ interest. Ryan Martin, assistant general manager of the Detroit Red Wings, and one of the new breed of analytics experts in the NHL, spoke about how their elaborate statistical platform for player evaluation has changed the game over the past five years and will continue to play a huge part in the future of the sport. Chris Moynes, Managing Director of ONE Sports + Entertainment Group, is a financial management expert specializing in professional athletes. His insights on the particular needs of this niche client group hit the mark with the AU students, given that a number of them work in finance. And he was an example of the varied roles available in the business of hockey outside team and league management structures. There were also examples for the group from within those management structures. Russ Brandon is the President of both

the Buffalo Sabres and the Buffalo Bills, who are owned by the same parent company, Pegula Sports & Entertainment. He made a towering impression on Taylor Reid, who admired Brandon’s ability to meet the challenge of “wearing two hats” as he runs teams in both the NHL and the NFL, the latter a $63 billion enterprise in the world’s biggest professional sports league. He was interested in how Brandon used the more plentiful resources of the football organization to help build the hockey organization. Another NHL president, one of the league’s most respected and imposing figures, also spent time with the group. Brian Burke, of the Calgary Flames, has a special interest in the AU students because, as co-founder of BHI, he wants to see these MBA candidates graduate into solid management positions within the NHL. Burke is an articulate man who speaks with great credibility and authority. This holder of a Harvard law degree and former league Vice-President is a commanding presence in the room, and he captured the full attention of his audience as he told them about his three pillars of success for running an NHL franchise. He shared his belief in the importance of the quality of the product (an entertaining brand of hockey), the need to operate an NHL team like a business, and the obligation of pro sports to demonstrate strong corporate social responsibility through extensive community involvement. Burke’s inspirational aura certainly grabbed one member of the group. As Taylor Reid reflected on the high points of the weekend he did a little blue-skying about where his Executive MBA might take him. The mystique of Brandon and Burke was obviously in play as he admitted that his long term goal is to be an NHL President: “That would be something to strive for.” Music to Brian Burke’s ears!


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WORLD BUSINESS: THE CANADIAN COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE IN MANUFACTURING b y H e a t her Bi sso nne tte p h o tog ra phy T MMC Media


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B i l l O l i v e r/ T M M C M e dia

Ch a d L a n a u s/ Co u r te sy o f Ch a d La n aus

Canadian manufacturers are verging on unprecedented market access. The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) and the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement (CKFTA) will provide unprecedented free-trade opportunities to some of the world’s largest markets. “One of the keys to Canadian manufacturing is to recognize the strength that we have right here,” says AU MBA ’13 Bill Oliver, Assistant General Manager at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada (TMMC). Canada has built a strong reputation for its highly-skilled workforce, which in turn produces quality products. Healthcare, education, and training programs are easily accessible. Proximity to market and stable banking provide additional business incentives for potential partners. Two of Canada’s strongest manufacturing industries – food products and automotives – have much to gain from increased market access. In 2015, food products accounted for $95.7 billion of Canada’s sales and automotives for $93.5 billion. Current AU MBA student, Chad Lanaus is Operations Manager at McCormick Canada – the largest spice, seasoning, and flavour company in the country. Chad attributes the success of McCormick Canada as two-fold; one, strong executive team leadership both domestically and internationally and two, strong teams within the manufacturing facilities. “McCormick Canada is a high performance organization with a ‘family feel’, where the culture of the company is huge, and I see that as being one of our strongest competitive advantages.” Contributing to and strengthening the family feel is important to Chad. He encourages and fosters this among his team of 130 employees by walking the shop floor frequently. “Getting out there on the floor to understand what is going on is important for many reasons, but it really helps build relationships.” Bill also describes the importance of cultivating strong relationships at every level of the organization and uses ideologies based upon Japanese practices. “We have a thing called Genchi Genbutsu, rooted in the Toyota Production System, (TPS), and it is about the importance of ‘go and see’, or experiencing things first hand, and going into the work place,” explains Bill. There is no doubt that competitive advantages can be achieved through relationships, leadership, and development – a big reason why Athabasca University’s Faculty of Business offers leadership and development courses focusing on this concept in all of its programs. Most recently Athabasca University’s Faculty of Business added the Manufacturing Management certificate of completion (MMC) geared specifically to those

working in the manufacturing industry. The MMC offers graduate level courses that can be parlayed into a new Post Baccalaureate Diploma in Leadership and Management. Athabasca University (AU) is able to reach people in many different positions by providing context, new skills, and confidence. According to AU Academic Coach, Dr. Tim Nerenz, “Engaging people from all aspects of a business – from the operations manager, to the sales manager, to procurement, to the director of safety – and getting them exposed to the broader picture of an organization, so that they can all come together and can compete in this globalized business world – that’s what AU provides.” Bill admits he was one of the more mature students in his executive MBA cohort with 22 years of experience when he began the program, but he feels he definitely got what he was after. “What I wanted out of the MBA was a framework to cast my experiences against…I wanted to put it into context and a structured business education, and AU provided that wonderfully.”


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To y o t a Ca na da / TM M C M ed i a

Bill has seen many changes both industry wide and within Toyota in Canada. Although he notes that the automotive industry operates in cycles, the largest change at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada has been the company’s growth. “In that first year, 1988, we built less than 1,000 cars. Last year, 2015, we built over 590,000 vehicles.” Like Chad, Bill believes that Toyota’s continued growth and success in Canada isn’t based on one component, but rather a combination of factors working mutually together. The analogy he describes is of hardware and software working together in a computer. In manufacturing, the hardware is philosophies like Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) and Kaizen groups. The software is the relationship building and leadership, and even more so, the ability of the person in a leadership role to sell their ideas and achieve buy in. Bill credits AU’s MBA with providing, “a holistic approach to better understand the connections between activities and the levels that make an organization effective.” And you need both, the hardware and the software to achieve success. Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada has been recognized with 14 prestigious J.D. Power and Associates Plant Quality awards, the most in North and South America, and second in the entire Toyota organization. TMMC has created a unique corporate culture combining Japanese ideologies, such as collectivism and manufacturing practices based on

necessity (small lots and shortly timed logistics), with Canadian values and culture. McCormick Canada recently underwent a structural re-organization. One of the outcomes was the initiation of TPM. The philosophy behind TPM is that employees get more proactively involved to try to prevent issues before they arise, thus increasing operational efficiencies. Although it’s in the early stages of implementation Chad feels the response from the team is positive. “McCormick Canada hopes that TPM practices will elevate overall factory standards and help to empower employees to make decisions based on the company’s core values.” Although cars and food products are very different end products, the similarities in the way they are manufactured and the programs that are put into place to achieve success are very similar. “Analogous business issues are common across disparate industries and sectors,” says Bill. “They are leadership, the quality of your product or service, efficiency in production, and ultimately how you satisfy your customer. But at the end of the day it’s about being effective at whatever you do.” McCormick Canada and Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada are two examples of how successful Canadian manufacturing companies operate and how Canada is able to leverage competitive advantage on a global scale. Dr. Nerenz eloquently states, “When you combine knowledge, confidence, and

courage; those three things are what it takes to drive people to try different things and ultimately act. That is what we want our students to take away – the ability to learn it today and be able to actually do it tomorrow.” Canadian manufacturers just need that extra push to harness what is already here, and capitalize on their strength: competitive advantage in the global market place. Athabasca University provides the tools, coaches, and virtual space. From someone with the experience, insight, and the education to back it up, Bill Oliver states, “I feel that we can compete internationally. There’s no reason why we can’t, I think that having that confidence is very important.”

CETA will provide Canada access to the world’s largest market with more than 500 million people in 28 countries, with a combined GDP of $20 trillion. The CKFA agreement provides Canadian exporters with preferential access to the world’s 15th-largest economy and the fourth-largest in Asia, with an annual GDP of nearly $1.8 trillion and a population of more than 50 million.


Manufacturing Management

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F A C U LT Y O F B U S I N E S S

Practical experience and technical mastery are important but today's managers also need business acumen to establish competitive advantage in a rapidly changing global context. The Manufacturing Management certificate of completion (MMC) is designed exclusively to do just this.

“Technical knowledge is no longer sufficient to manage a business profitably. A successful manager must also have well rounded business acumen. The Athabasca University MMC is a perfect solution.” Jodi Lant Human Resources Manager Standard Machine

Qualifies for Canada Provincial Job Grant up to $10,000 per student

Online, no time spent away from work

Study with students from across Canada

4 week courses, study when and where it's convenient for you

8 courses — complete within 1 year › Quality Management › Safety Management › Leadership and Change

In partnership with:

› Cross Cultural Leadership › Financial Decision Making › Supply Chain Management

› Manufacturing Management › Project Management

FOR MORE INFORMATION: 1-800-561-4650 business.athabascau.ca/mmc


Forbes 38

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THE SMARTEN UP 5 b y Je remy D erkse n

How many times have you heard the saying, work smarter, not harder? Easy in theory, but how do you actually put it into practice? How do you work smarter tomorrow than you did today? Enhancing productivity and performance isn’t as simple as just pushing

1. EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE Emotional intelligence – or EQ – has risen to the forefront in the last decade. Forbes magazine has even suggested businesses should hire for EQ over IQ. So what’s the big deal? Studies show that emotional competencies such as self-confidence, empathy, listening, and initiative are better predictors of success than intelligence alone. People with higher EQ are better able to not only recognize their emotions but also understand their subsequent effect on thinking and behavior. Thus, making them more even tempered, better listeners, and ultimately, excellent decision makers. EQ expert Justin Bariso, founder of Insight, uses the pizza versus praise equation to explain the value of EQ. In one study, subjects were tested to see which was a greater motivator: pizza, praise, or cash. Pizza won in the short term, but praise had more staying power over the long haul. Cash was a distant third. The take-away is simple, argues EQ organization 6seconds.org: “people drive performance – but, make no mistake – emotions drive people.” Having a better understanding of those emotions can help leaders better | analyze and navigate the complexities of policy, personality, and business relations.

2. DIGITAL MANAGEMENT Online networking platforms, virtual forums, and social publishing tools are transforming business, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s easier to manage today’s workforce. “As the amount of information rapidly exceeds our ability to absorb it, the challenge is to rise above the chatter,” says Athabasca University MBA grad Derek Sidebottom. Sidebottom’s company, Farside HR, specializes in developing software, gaming and mobile HR strategies, particularly for engaging the millennial workforce. “We can never replace the fundamentals of face-to-face relations,” he acknowledges, however, “we would be crazy not to take advantage of these emerging social and technological platforms to communicate and collaborate across diverse teams, geography and time zones.” Even farmers in West Africa can use digital technology to enhance their businesses. While studying tech adoption in New Guinea, Dr. Bangaly Kaba, Associate Professor of Management Information Systems at AU, found that by keeping tabs on current market value, farmers were able to negotiate better prices for their crops. Such solutions may appear obvious in hindsight, but it takes trust and a willingness to experiment. But as the New Guinean farmers demonstrated, putting the right tools in the right hands can often have surprising results. Forbes url: http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevecooper/2013/03/18/look-for-employees-with-high-eq-over-iq/#6b422fea2cd2 Harvard Business Review url: https://hbr.org/2016/05/mindfulness-can-improve-strategy-too

Which leaves just one question: what have


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the “smart” button – it’s about doing the right work versus doing “busy” work. To help you deliver on that age-old mantra, we’re taking a look at some of the latest tactics that can help you and your organization work a little bit smarter.

3. MINDFULNESS Listen – can you hear the “ohm” echoing from the corporate boardrooms? Mindfulness has become a full blown business fad. But does it really work? Leaders at Apple, Google and the U.S. Pentagon are convinced it does. Research has shown that meditation reduces stress and improves emotion regulation. It has also been credited with helping boost positive feelings, cultivating a sense of well-being, and enhancing feelings of connection to others. A recent article in Harvard Business Review argues that it can help with strategic planning as well. Mindfulness allows for “clarity and generative thinking,” which helps produce more robust strategy. Bottom line: meditation helps the mind focus and harness creative potential.

4. WELLNESS “Healthy body, healthy mind” is almost as clichéd as “work smarter, not harder,” and yet often, when companies seek to “trim the fat” among the first things to go are health incentives and employee perks. Instead, says Athabasca University MBA grad Debby Carreau, companies might be wise to invest more in wellness programs and creative benefits that engage employees and boost productivity. As founder of Inspired HR, Carreau and co. currently fill over 400,000 roles in North American organizations through outsourced staffing solutions. She knows how to get the most out of the HR budget. “When employees are more active, you see fewer sick days, lower levels of depression, and staff are more productive,” says Carreau. Investing in wellness doesn’t have to be an expensive endeavour – start a lunch-hour running club, arrange a corporate gym membership, or host healthy lunches in-house, she suggests. Burning off those heavy extra calories can help energize both body and brain, helping you (and your organization) become leaner and more efficient.

5. LIFELONG LEARNING We wouldn’t be a responsible post-secondary institution if we didn’t champion the benefits of lifelong learning. But you don’t have to take it from us; scientist and author Dr. Norman Doidge argues, in “The Brain That Changes Itself,” that our brains have neuroplasticity – which means we can grow and change them, with the right effort. Lifelong learning, he writes, is one of the ways to effect such change. Lifelong learning stimulates certain areas of the brain that aren’t usually stimulated in later adulthood, explains Doidge. Through middle age, we spend most of our time repeating tasks we are familiar with, thereby hardening neuro pathways. Learning something new challenges our brain to open up and forge new pathways, in order to absorb, retain, and then put new information to use. Whether for professional development, career growth, long-term cognitive health, or its many other benefits, lifelong learning is a valuable organizational attribute.

you challenged yourself to learn recently?


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CO NVOCAT I ON CELEBRATING THE GRADUATES OF 2016

MASTERS OF BUSINESS

ADMINISTRATION

b y Ang i e Zand er p h o t og ra phy Kels ey McMillan

1.

4.

5.

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Congratulations graduates of 2016!

Convocation is a time for graduates to gather with friends, family, faculty, and staff to celebrate a hard-earned degree. For Athabasca University Faculty of Business students, this coming together has even more meaning – many students only just meeting face-to-face for the first time at convocation.

On the weekend of June 10-11, 2016, Athabasca University Faculty of Business recognized 357 graduates. Welcome to the Athabasca University Faculty of Business alumni community, we couldn’t be more proud!

8

DOCTORS

10.

OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION

FROM TOP LEFT TO RIGHT 1. CONVOCATION PROCESSION. 2. CHELSEA VISSCHER, BMGMT. 3. ANNE MARIE ROCK & COLLEEN LAING, MBA 4. FADI KHOURIEH, BMGMT. 5, ATHABASCA UNIVERSITY PRESIDENT, PETER MACKINNON, DR. ANDREA SMILSKI, DEAN, FACULTY OF BUSINESS, DR. DEBORAH HURST. 6. DR. PHILIP FERUSON & FAMILY. 7. MBA GRADS. 8. ASANI. 9. ANTHONY SMITH, BMGMT. 10. NAYEF MAHGOUB, MBA & FAMILY. 11. DEB VAN DE WATER, MBA & DAUGHTER. 12. MICHAEL KORGOL, MBA & FAMILY. 13. JODY MCPHERSON, MBA & FAMILY. 14. ADAM WATT, MBA & NADINA KASSIM, MBA, GIVE TOAST TO THE FAMILIES. 15. ALAN PARKIN, MBA.


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62 BACHELORS OF COMMERCE

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7 BACHELORS OF ADMINISTRATION

7.

BACHELORS OF

MANAGEMENT

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LAW AND ORDER: AU

HOW ONE SVU DETECTIVE FOUGHT CRIME AND MANAGED TIME BETWEEN THE POLICE FORCE AND HIS MBA

b y He i d i S ta s e s o n

D e te c t ive J a m e s Wing a t e in Unif o r m / Co u r t e sy o f J a m e s Wi n ga te

When Detective James Wingate proposed to his girlfriend back in August 2015, it was a simple, understated, yet elegant affair. There were candles and flowers to grace the couple’s cozy abode in Rockwood, Ontario, a tree-lined community 10 km northeast of Guelph. And while there may have been affectionate words expressed as the 6-foot-7 James got down on bended knee, there was no fanfare; no 21st century, flashmob-styled antics to be repurposed for social media. Rather, the otherwise self-professed “low-key kind of guy,” and his now fiancé, Hilary Jermyn, had more pressing matters to consider — their respective graduations the following year from their MBA programs — hers at Wilfrid Laurier, his at Athabasca University. James, 42, is coming up on his 20th year with the Peel Regional Police Service, located west of Toronto, covering the cities of Mississauga and Brampton. It’s the third largest municipal service in Canada, patrolled by 2,000 officers. James is one of two detectives in his platoon, he works for the Special Victims Unit — commonly referred to as the SVU. His unit covers all child abuse and serious sexual assaults that occur in each of the region’s divisions. You might say policing is in his blood. James’ parents met in Scotland in the 1960s when they were both police officers there. “I’ve been surrounded and involved in the police culture since I was born,” he says. After completing high school, he enrolled at the University of Guelph as a history major, minoring in political science. He graduated in 1997, around the same time he decided to follow in his family’s footsteps. Shortly after basic training at Ontario Police College, James was hired by Peel Regional Police Services where he started out as a uniformed, general patrol officer with 11 Division in Mississauga West — the same division he was born and raised in. “I policed the streets that I used to play road hockey on,” says James.


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“I didn’t have to learn too much about the streets and the plazas and the schools, or how to get around,” he says, recalling his early days of work where he would often ask himself: ‘If I was that age, where would I go?’ Indeed, the geography of the area provided a second-nature backdrop that often came in handy when sleuthing. “It’s funny — one call in particular that I got — it was myself and another guy that had grown up in the same area. I didn’t know him before but we both showed up in the same place looking for this group,” James recalls. Sure enough, he confirms, the police pair would find the culprits hanging out in the same spot they frequented as youth. While James may have nearly 20 years under his heavily tooled belt, he’s been steadily planning for his future on the job, staying ahead of the game by furthering his post-secondary education. He completed his MA in 2009 at Athabasca University in the Masters of Integrated Studies (MAIS) program. That first degree program helped prepare him for the demanding responsibilities that would accompany him three years later in his MBA journey. He was already familiarized with the university’s asynchronistic, flexible systems. “The flexibility is the biggest thing because when I was doing my MBA I was in uniform,” James explains. Working in waves One of the practical and, he concedes, surprising benefits of his AU MBA program, was how applicable it was to his career in the police force. For starters, he became somewhat of a time management aficionado, particularly when it came to scheduling study time between detective work. “I usually scheduled things three or four days in advance,” says James. “I’d say, ‘When I get home, I’ll do two hours here; and when I have this day off, I’m going to spend just the morning on school. So there would be a lot of writing things down in three- or four-day

D e te c t ive J a m e s Wing a t e a t c o n vo c a tio n / H e idi Stas es on

chunks as to what I wanted to accomplish. And just sticking to that really helped.” On his days off, he’d get caught up on his reading and essay prep work. AU’s flexibility factor made the juggle smoother for one who spent much of his 12-hour shifts dealing with serious crime and police matters. “That’s the thing with the Athabasca program — it was very conducive to my lifestyle and the shift work. It gave me the flexibility where I could do more on my days off, and [still] do a little bit while I was working,” says James. “You could post feedback or responses online and fellow classmates would get to it when they’d get to it. I’d always warn people and say ‘hey — over the next few days you might not hear from me as much as you will on Friday or Saturday-Sunday.’ It was good to have the up and down, and the ability to work in waves, but still keep on top of things,” he remarks.

“I have to be available 24-7 when I’m working, so I didn’t have much time to do anything at work. It’s very demanding; everything was dedicated to the job.” says James. Of his flexible fortune, James admits to at times feeling bad for his fiancé who was simultaneously doing her MBA at Wilfrid Laurier in Waterloo, while juggling full-time corporate work in Toronto — an almost one-hour drive, one-way. “Depending on what her courses were, she’d have to drive out to the lectures once or twice a week, and then work in Toronto, and drive all the way back — it was a long haul [to go to school] to then turn around and go back into work in the GTA,” he says. Secondly, James quickly became an ardent fan of AU’s 24-7 online aspect that enabled myriad ways he could connect with his degree work. “There are tons of different ways of interacting,” he explains.


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“That’s the thing with the Athabasca program — it was very conducive to my lifestyle and the shift work. It gave me the flexibility where I could do more on my days off, and [still] do a little bit while I was working.” -JAMES WINGATE, MBA ‘16 “The majority of work that anybody’s doing [involves] reading your text books, reading articles; you’re watching webinars, you’re chatting on the phone through Skype. You just float around online — with technology it can all be done online.”

“The big push in the next 20 years of my career in terms of policing will be the financials and budgets, and doing more with less. In the past, it was crime-focused and ‘how are you getting the crime rate down?’ and, ‘what’s your solvency rate?’

He said a typical day off might also involve attending virtual finance lectures and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) from various international universities — from Harvard to Oxford. That international factor was another AU selling point, he adds, praising AU’s international business savvy.

“Now, it’s not only crime-focused, but it’s budget-focused — and you’re seeing it with the Toronto budget where the Police Board or the City is saying ‘we need you to cut your budget by five or 10 per cent — Make it happen!’”

“I always loved reading the coaches’ and students’ bios before the course, and wondering, ‘who have I got this time?’ There might be somebody from Germany, from Florida, from Toronto, or Edmonton — there were a couple in the States.” Moreover, he attests his overall AU Faculty of Business education experience was, quality-wise, “absolutely on par” with competitor bricks-and-mortar, post-secondary MBA programs. The third, and main reason, James enrolled and completed his MBA at Athabasca University, was the fact he could learn the ropes of business administration that might enable him to one day become a senior leader in his organization —“early enough in my career so I can use it for the remainder of my career.” Cutback credibility His AU MBA could also provide him proficiency at potentially managing grand-scale budgets. “If you have anything to do with managing a budget, I think you should understand and be conversant in how big organizations are run,” says James, noting the public trend toward fiscal responsibility and the importance of being lean. “There is much more accountability to the public sector in terms of how tax dollars are spent, and I wanted to learn as much as I could, right now — not just about the dollars and cents, but [also] human resource management, strategic planning, IT, plus the corporate side, and budgets,” he says, pointing to the nearly $400 million budget of the Peel Regional Police Service. “I may not know all the ins and outs of how budgets are done, but at least I’ll be able to be aware of how they’re managed,” James concedes, with prescience.

Last June, James joined his fellow Faculty of Business MBA graduating colleagues for AU’s weekend convocation ceremonies. It would be the first time he saw his fellow learners, face-to-face, since his five-week Corporate Governance and Accountability course held its week-long, in-residence elective in Toronto the previous fall — another enjoyable AU attribute he cites: that rare opportunity for AU classmates to meet up-close-and-personally. “It was great to get everybody in a social setting at convocation. There was a photo booth and champagne beforehand, and the dinner was excellent — good conversation — I was really impressed by it,” he says. Accompanying James to convocation was his Okotoks, Albertabased brother, Andrew, and his fiancé Hilary, who had graduated with her Laurier MBA just a few months prior. Wingate admits he skipped out on his MA graduation ceremony — something he regrets — so he “wasn’t going to miss this one.” “I said to Hilary: ‘We worked our butts off for these and we got through it.’ (A few months prior I had gone to Hilary’s convocation at Laurier.) When you go to a convocation…you realize it’s something you don’t want to miss.” Reflecting back on the timing of his marriage proposal the previous year, James says it was a judicious move. “We were glad we were getting married after our degrees would be done. I don’t know if I could deal with juggling too many things!” The couple is set to wed October 15, 2016.


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STUDENT AND FACULTY BOOKS “The Mentor Myth: How to Take Control of Your Own Success” By Debby Carreau, MBA ‘10

“Good Planets are Hard to Buy” By Larry Berglund, MBA ‘03 Non-Fiction Publisher: Buddha Press Available from amazon.ca

Non-Fiction Publisher: Bibliomotion Inc. debbycarreau.com

Athabasca University MBA ’10, Debby Carreau explores why the importance of mentorship has become overused and ineffectual in her new book “The Mentor Myth: How to Take Control of Your Own Success.” Carreau argues that aspiring professionals already possess the tools they need to take control of their own careers. The Mentor Myth provides a framework to help aspiring professionals navigate their career plan by relying on their own strengths, capabilities, and visions of success – without the help of a mentor.

“Corporate Harmony – The Performance Link for Today’s Modern Organization” By Catherine Osborne, MBA ‘10 Non-Fiction Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform corporateharmony.ca

In “Corporate Harmony – The Performance Link for Today’s Modern Organization,” Catherine Osborne, MBA ’10, introduces the concept of ‘Positive Presence’ as a learnable skill, a business process improvement strategy, a philosophy for culture change, and a necessary leadership skill for creating organizational performance excellence. Corporate Harmony, explains the need for business process improvement strategies that are centered on making obvious the behaviours that will strengthen positive emotional energy in the workplace for increased productivity, stronger working relationships, and improved mental, physical and emotional wellness.

“Remarkable Service – Be the Business Everyone’s Talking About” By Mike Mack, MBA ‘02

Sustainability goes far beyond going green, but how far and what can we do about it? Athabasca University MBA ’03 Larry Berglund, explores the why, who, how, and more in his newest book “Good Planets are Hard to Buy: A Management Handbook for Creating Conscious Capitalism, Sustainability Principles and Supply Chain Excellence.” Berglund’s experience has been four decades in the making; he is an expert in supply chain management and has an unwavering passion for sustainability, supply chain management, and corporate social responsibility.

“A Suitcase Full of Dried Fish and other stories” By Bakar Mansaray, MBA ‘06 Fiction Publisher: Sierra Leonean Writers Series Available from amazon.ca

In “A Suitcase Full of Dried Fish and other stories,” Mansaray, MBA ’06, explores the complexities of human relationships through a collection of stories ranging from the harrowing slum of Katakoumbay to the comforts of the developed world. Each story allows the reader a glimpse into the lives of extraordinary individuals as they struggle and conquer in times of love, injustice, war, and the desire for money. While following each individual’s journey they show that even in the midst of adversity, much can be achieved with resilience, and much can also be lost where there is no forgiveness.

“The Story of the 123rd Overseas Battalion, Royal Grenadiers, CEF” Dan Mowat MBA ‘06 Non-Fiction Self-published 123rdbattalion.ca

Non-Fiction Publisher: 90-Minute Books mikemack.ca

In his book, “Remarkable Service – Be the Business Everyone’s Talking About,” Mike Mack, MBA ’02, shares his insights about how any business, in any industry, can be remarkable. Learn what it takes to deliver Remarkable Service. Discover some of the little things that can make a big difference. In good economic times and in bad, customer service is the one thing that any business can control and improve upon 24/7, 365 days a year.

“The Story of the 123rd Overseas Battalion, Royal Grenadiers, CEF” chronicles the story of the Battalion raised by one of Canada’s oldest and finest Regiments; the 10th Royal Grenadiers, whose history began in December 1861 and carried on throughout the war and beyond. The book focuses not on the great battles but on the Pioneers and Engineers who helped to save countless infantrymen and artillerymen during the heat of battle. The 10th Royal Grenadiers went on to distinguish themselves during the last hundred days of the Great War, and were among the first Canadians to be at the entrance of the city of Mons, Belgium just hours before the end of the war.


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STUDENT & ALUMNI NOTES

DBA Michael Opara, DBA ‘14, secured an Assistant Professor tenure track position at Texas A & M University. Phil Ferguson, DBA ‘16, successfully defended his dissertation “Distal factors and their effect on employees’ performance appraisal ratings and remuneration: A ratee’s perspective.” Colleen Grady, DBA ‘16, successfully defended her dissertation “Exploring physician leadership development in healthcare organizations through the lens of complexity science.” Colleen also had a refereed journal article published in Leadership in Health Services – Special Edition on Medical Leadership, in Emerald Journal, entitled “Can complexity science inform physician leadership development?”. Keltie Jones, DBA ‘16, successfully defended her dissertation “Making sense of strategic planning: An examination of the meaning and impact of a university’s strategic planning process.” Kara Mitchelmore, DBA ‘16, successfully defended her dissertation “The role of legacy in implementing change in long standing organizations – A case study.” Richard Rush, DBA ‘16, successfully defended his dissertation “Using learning taxonomy to enhance understanding of innovation adoption.”

Richard Vaillancourt, DBA ‘16, successfully defended his dissertation “Credit Union Mergers: Psychological Contracts and Organizational Trust, and completing his doctoral journey.”

MBA Murray Cumbers, MBA ‘97, has traveled the world selling communications solutions over every medium from fibre to satellite. Currently an employee of NetSet Communications working as an adviser to corporate clients throughout rural Manitoba. Jeanette Machtemes, MBA ‘97, took on the role of acting chief executive officer (CEO) at the College & Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta. Jeanette assumes leadership of the executive team at CARNA as acting CEO while also maintaining her duties as Director of Corporate Services. Todd Scaletta, MBA ‘00, is now the incoming President and CEO of the Chartered Professional Accountants of Manitoba (CPA Manitoba). Carol Halt, MBA ‘01, has recently accepted the position of Administrator Golden Manor Longterm Care Home. The Manor is a 177 bed Municipal Home in Timmins, Ontario. Mike Denomme, MBA ‘02, is now the Director of Sales Operations for Axonify. George Gorthy, MBA ‘02, recently took on the role of National Sales Manager at Merge Healthcare, an IBM Company. George’s role is to develop

the marketing strategy for Merge products in Canada. Anne Graham, MBA ‘02, is now the Vice President, Human Resources, (Interim) at Pythian. Henry Groen, MBA ‘02, recently started Grey Power Services (GPS) with the plan to build a multidisciplined team of associates and contract their services to companies who need to fill the void of senior expertise created through the extensive G&A cuts. Sandip Lalli MBA ‘02, congratulations Sandip on your 2016 CPA Alberta Achievement Award! The CPA Achievement Awards are given to Alberta CPAs who represent what it means to be a CPA; they are champions in their communities, experts in their fields, and represent a higher standard of the CPA. Mike Mack, MBA ‘02, authored the book “Remarkable Service – Be the Business Everyone’s Talking About.” Mike Mack’s experience has been three decades in the making and encompasses a wide range of professional services. He is the founder of X5 Management and an established business consultant, coach, and public speaker. Inger Johanne Mesna, MBA ITM ‘02, is a finance, accounting, and compliance professional with extensive experience from business operation, management and assurance. At the beginning of 2016, Inger started her new position as President/Consultant with Embla Ltd.


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Ed Zynomirski, MBA ‘02, President of ECHO Power Equipment Canada, was named Vice President of Sales for ECHO Incorporated in Lake Zurich, IL. His sales responsibilities include North and Latin America. Larry Berglund MBA ‘03, explores the why, who, and how of sustainability – and more – in his newest book “Good Planets are Hard to Buy: A Management Handbook for Creating Conscious Capitalism, Sustainability Principles and Supply Chain Excellence.” Sloan Campbell, MBA ‘03, recently became Operations Master Scheduler with Raytheon Canada Limited. Along with his new position, Sloan has been part of the Project Management Mentor program with Raytheon for over 10 years. Rob Fegan, MBA ITM ‘03, recently cofounded Patriot Technology Group. This company is focused on helping customers take advantage of Microsoft Cloud Solutions. Allan Reid, MBA ‘03, manages the Hydropower, Thermal Solar assets, and resources as the COO at Ontario Power Generation. Roger Ryan, AGDM ‘03, started as the Director of National Sales & Clinical Operations at Lifestyle Hearing Corporation. Yvonne Dionne, MBA ‘04, has worked with Natural Resources Canada for over a year and just started her new position as Policy Advisor: Canada Centre for Mapping and Earth Observation.

Ken Ferguson, MBA ‘04, is now working as a Consultant and Senior Project Lead on the Parliament Hill Rehabilitation Project. Stephan Lalonde, MBA ‘04, has over 18 years of experience in the Learning and Development field and has recently begun a new position as Director, Global Learning Programs with Scotiabank. Tom Sparrow, MBA ITM ‘04, works for PMP Service LTD – Island health as the Chief Project Officer. Tom is presently contracted to manage the $606M North Island Hospitals Project PPP for the Island Health Authority in British Columbia. Helena DeSousa, MBA ITM ‘05, recently began her new role as Senior Program Manager with Rogers Communications. Bob Gordon, MBA ‘05, is now the Senior Commercial Assessor for Property Valuation Services Corporation in Halifax, NS. Jean LeVasseur, MBA ‘05, works with Forney Canada in his new position of Vice President of Sales and Marketing Canada. Melanie McLagan, MBA ‘05, currently holds two positions! She recently started with Microsoft Consulting Services as a Senior Account Executive in Financial Services soon after becoming a part of C3 – The Change Agency as an Independent Facilitator/ Owner – Transformation Coach. Ken Baird, MBA ‘06, is a member of the senior executive team and Vice President, Clinical Supports for Eastern Health.

Todd Dyer, MBA ‘06, is now the Senior Director & General Manager for Frontec Global, a subsidiary of ATCO Structures & Logistics. Frontec specializes in providing camp and logistics services to military and disaster relief operations. Bakar Mansaray MBA ‘06, in his new book “A Suitcase Full of Dried Fish and other stories,” Bakar explores the complexities of human relationships through a collection of stories. Jason Morris, MBA ‘06, has over 10 years of experience in the automotive industry. His expansive automotive knowledge will make him a great fit in his new position of Program Manager with Gestamp. Dan Mowat MBA ‘06, in “OneTwo-Three: The Story of the 123rd Overseas Battalion, Royal Grenadiers, CEF” chronicles the story of the Battalion raised by one of Canada’s oldest and finest Regiments; the 10th Royal Grenadiers, whose history began in December 1861 and carried on throughout the war and beyond. Jim Avery, MBA ‘07, is now Manager, Client Project Management at TELUS, supporting Project Managers and Technical Team in TSSI and THPS. Rob Drew, MBA ‘07, joined Syntron Material Handling as VP of Operations He will lead the continuous improvement efforts and support the 300 team members in Mississippi. Gary Ng-Wai, MBA ‘07, has recently taken on the role of New Business Development with Bond Brand Loyalty.


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STUDENT & ALUMNI NOTES (CONTINUED)

Darren Zink, MBA ‘07, recently started working for Qtrade Financial Group as the Vice President of Learning & Development. Dianne Lapierre, MBA ‘08, recently received a promotion to Senior Vice President, Chief Information Officer with Raymond James Ltd. Clinton Rebec, MBA ‘08, is now the Assistant Vice President of Business Development at Cardinal Capital Management Inc. Helene Blanchette, MBA ‘09, is now Managing Consultant for GlobalFluency well as Senior Editor for American Printer Magazine., a publication of the OL Communication Group. Bill Mercer, MBA ‘09, has moved into the position, Director of Fleet Operations and Maintenance with Enmax. Brian Roach, MBA ‘09, has been appointed Private Secretary and Director to the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta. Kris Hansen, MBA ‘10, has become the Senior Principal, Financial Services with SAP. Ray MacDonald, MBA ‘10, is now working as the Associate Vice President, Infrastructure Projects with TD Bank. Catherine Osborne, MBA ‘10, in Catherine’s new book, “Corporate Harmony – The Performance Link for Today’s Modern Organization,” the concept of ‘Positive Presence’ as a learnable skill, a business process improvement strategy, a philosophy for culture change, and a necessary leadership skill for creating organizational performance excellence is introduced.

Scott Sanders, MBA ‘10, is Senior Manager LP Technical Training at Enbridge. Stephen Street, MBA ‘10, has ample experience within the health care industry and is now working as the President and CEO of Wellington Health Care Alliance. Debby Carreau, MBA ‘11, “The biggest risk of mentorship is that it gives people the impression that the outcome of their career is dependent on the actions and input of others. The truth is: you are in control of your success.” Debby explores why the importance of mentorship has become overused and overblown in her new book “The Mentor Myth: How to Take Control of Your Own Success.” Bill Klassen, MBA ‘11, is the Director, Transportation and Infrastructure at MD Lesser Slave River #124. Justin Petkau, MBA ‘11, is Manager – Resources, Sourcing and Procurement with Accenture. Ranjit Sandhar, MBA ‘11, recently became Branch Manager, BMO Financial Group. Ramon Perdigao, MBA ‘12, was an Academic Coach for the AUFB MBA elective Doing Business in Brazil in 2014. More recently, Ramon has moved on to become the Director, Operational Excellence with eCycle Solutions. Shastri Ramnath, MBA ‘12, congratulations Shastri on your 2015 RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Nomination! This honour recognizes female business owners from across Canada who make impressive and substantial contributions to the local, Canadian, or global economy.

Abtin Zohrabi, MBA ‘12, is a Sr. Program Manager with EQ Bank leading the Transition & Transformation of the bank’s newly launched digital platform. Marrie Diaz, MBA ‘13, has been in real estate investments since 2007, specializing in income & rental properties. Marrie is now a Mortgage Broker at TMG – The Mortgage Group. Rael Fisher, MBA ‘13, is now President, Canada with RR Donnelley. Andrew Sebastian, MBA ‘13, has currently taken on the role of Senior Manager, HR Service Delivery at WSP in Canada. Jessica Butts Scott, MBA ‘14, has been with Athabasca University for almost four years and during that time nurtured and cultivated existing and new strategic corporate partnerships. She was recently promoted to Director, Partnership and Student Recruitment. Sheila Cousineau, MBA ‘14, is the Provincial Director of Operations for Imagine Health Centres. Jason Henderson, MBA ‘14, has a new role as Executive Director, Premise Services West at AFL. Stefano Osti, MBA ‘14, has recently begun a new position with Manulife Bank of Canada as a Business Development Consultant. Kunnal Sharma, MBA ‘14, recently relocated to Winnipeg to join Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries Corporation as Construction Procurement Specialist.


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Michelle Connolly, MBA ‘15, has been part of the team at Pfizer for over six years and has moved into the new position of Process Specialist. Rohan D’Souza, MBA ‘15, is happy to share that he is now the Technical Project manager, IP Routing/Optical for Nokia. Justin Fox, MBA ‘15, is a recent grad and enthusiastic entrepreneur. He currently owns The Mobility Shop, a home health care equipment and supply distribution company and is now in the process of creating and introducing a new professional 3-on-3 hockey league, 3hl.ca. Tannis Liviniuk, MBA ‘15, has been working for Bentley Systems for almost a year. She has recently moved into the position of Construction Academy Director. Tim Pemberton, MBA ‘16, recently started a new position as Chief Technology Officer for Southlake Regional Health Centre. Julio Aparicio, MBA Student, has worked with Suncor Energy Inc. for the past six years. His new position is Manager of Reliability Projects for Energy and Utilities. Angela Merriott, MBA Student, has joined Clean Harbors as HR Director for their Oil and Gas business. Bill Ruta, MBA Student, has worked for AZZ – WSI LLC for almost three years. Recently, Bill was promoted from Account Executive to Managing Director in Canada.

Christian Vogl, MBA Student, works for Corey Nutrition as the Director of Operations.

Adam Lisk, BMgmt ‘13, recently relocated to Toronto, Ontario to take over the Export and Customs Coordinator role with Tyco Security Products.

Undergrad

Rick Cameron, BComm ‘14, recently became the Manager, Procurement and Supply Chain for Pason Systems.

Congratulations to current Bachelor of Commerce students, Maria Metchewais, Andrew Gray, Daniel McIlmoyl and Emma Moore on your 2nd place finish at the CPA Alberta Case Competition. Peter Geadah, BAdmin ‘04, has over 15 years of financial expertise and is now working as a Cash Management Specialist with Libro Credit Union. Jessica Somers, BComm ‘09, recently created Cordova Street Consulting, a business and tax advising firm in Vancouver, British Columbia. After advising entrepreneurs and small business for over 10 years, Jessica is now following her clients’ lead and becoming an entrepreneur herself! Jennifer Starr, BAdmin ‘11, is the Head of Partnerships at Free the Children. Allen Bekolay, BMgmt ‘12, is now the Saskatchewan Sales Rep for BOXX Modular. John Lintzeris, BComm ‘12, recently became the Manager of the Entrepreneurship Centre at the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) in Kitchener Ontario. Stefan Krawiec, BMgmt ‘13, recently took on the role of Marketing Operations Specialist at Yesler.

Mark Harrietha, BMgmt Student, is now the Senior Director, Head of Canadian Operations for Sutherland Global Services. Chris Ireland, BMgmt student, recently took on the position of Operations Manager at Raytheon ELCAN Optical Technologies. Charles Taranhike, BMgmt student, recently took on the role of Team Lead with FGL Sports Ltd.


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FACULTY NOTES Congratulations to Dr. Alex Kondra, Associate Professor, Organizational Theory, who was announced as new Faculty of Business Executive MBA Program Director in July 2016. Dr. Kam Jugdev, Professor, Project Management and Strategy, attended the Academy of Management Conference in Anaheim California in early August 2016. While there she participated in a Professional Development Workshop entitled Organizational

Project Management: Crafting an Organizational View of Project Management.

In June 2016, Dr. Jugdev presented at the

Administrative Sciences Association of Canada (ASAC) Conference a paper

entitled “Determinants of Burnout, Engagement, Turnover, and Retention in Project Managers.” Dr. Jugdev also completed a review of the book “Digital Project Management: The Complete Step-By-Step Guide to a Successful Launch” (authored by Taylor Olson). Dr. Jugdev was recently appointed as a member of the Editorial Board for the International Journal of

Project Management.

Congratulations to Dean’s Award for Coaching Excellence recipients Glenn Coltman, BA, MBA, Academic Coach, Human Resources, and Dr. Oliver Mack, Academic Coach, Operations Management.

Dr. Helen Lam, Professor, Human Resource Management and Chair, MBA Program Admissions, recently had a refereed journal article published in Employee Relations on “Social Media Dilemmas in the Employment Context.” Congratulations Tilly Jensen, BComm, CPA, CMA, EdD, Faculty of Business Associate Dean, Pedagogy and Student Experience for your 2016 CPA Education Foundation Teaching Award! The CPA Teaching Award recognizes educators who have contributed significantly to the teaching and learning development of accounting students. Dr. Anshuman Khare, Professor, Operations Management, is a contributing editor for a new book entitled “Phantom ex machina: Digital disruption’s role in business model transformation,” due to be released in October 2016. Also of note are current and past Athabasca University faculty that were involved in part in the creation of Phantom ex machina as editorial board members, chapter authors, and contributors: Dr. Dwight R. Thomas, Dr. Kam Jugdev, Dr. Oliver Mack, Dr. Stephen Murgatroyd, Dr. Terry Beckman, and Dr. Helen Lam. Dr. Anshuman Khare, published “Do Consumer Shopping Styles influence consumer attitudes towards services offered by shopping websites?” in the Journal

of International Consumer Marketing (JICM). Co-authors: Arpita Khare, Sourjo Mukherjee and Tanuj Goyal. “The feasibility of distributed hydrogen production from renewable energy sources and the financial contribution from UK motorists on environmental grounds” was also published by Dr. Khare in Sustainable Cities and Society. Co-author: Geoffrey David Southall. Dr. Khare, was awarded the 2015 Athabasca University Graduate Students’ Association (AUGSA) Outstanding Distinction Award. The award recognises a faculty member who fosters exceptional learning, exemplary leadership, and outstanding support for and engagement with graduate students. Dr. Khare, has recently been appointed the new guest Editor for the IAFOR Journal

of Business Management. Dr. Terry Beckman, Assistant Professor, Marketing; Associate Dean, Research & Accreditation, Dr. Anshuman Khare, and Dr. Maggie Matear Academic Coach, Ethics and Sustainability had a new journal article published entitled “Does the theory of stakeholder identity and salience lead to corporate social responsibility? The case of environmental justice” in the

Social Responsibility Journal. Dr. Ana Azevedo, Assistant Professor, Entrepreneurship had a new journal article published with Rocky J. Dwyer

entitled “Preparing leaders for the multi-generational workforce” in the Journal of

Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy.

Dr. Mihail Cocosila, Associate Professor, Management Science, Management Information Systems, wrote journal article entitled “A dual-risk model of user adoption of mobile-based smoking cessation support services” with Ofir Turel that was published in Behaviour &

Information Technology. Dr. Houda Trabelsi, and Dr. Mihail Cocosila, presented at the 2016 International

Academic Business Conference in Orlando,

Florida on “Mobile payments in Canada: Perceived opportunities and challenges of contactless Near Field Communication”. Dr. Houda Trabelsi, and Dr. Mihail Cocosila, presented “A user perspective on contrasting factors of contactless mobile payments adoption” at the

18th International Academic Conference, London, United

Kingdom. Dr. Houda Trabelsi, and Dr. Mihail Cocosila, presented “Consumer perceptions of contactless mobile payments: A Canadian empirical investigation” at the International Journal

of Arts & Sciences’ (IJAS) International Conference for Business and Economics in

Prague, Czech Republic.


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F A C U LT Y O F B U S I N E S S

A higher degree of connection Supply chains move more than materials around the world - the best exchange ideas and practices, fuelling competitive advantage. The strategic alliance between SCMA Canada and Athabasca University's Faculty of Business connects the nationally recognized Supply Chain Management Professional (SCMP) designation with AU's globally recognized Executive MBA. Connecting industry and education anywhere your business or career takes you.

AU Executive MBA Online. Connected. Respected.

For more information: business.athabascau.ca/SCMP


00 Stefanie Ruel, MBA ‘11, DBA Candidate Mission Manager, Canadian Space Agency

AT H A B A S C A U N I V E R S I T Y

Shot on location at the Mars Rover testing field Montreal, QC

@AthabascaUBiz

@AthabascaUBiz

athabascau.business

Athabasca University Faculty of Business

Connected Magazine Fall Issue 2016